StAnza: Scotland's Poetry Festival

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The cleverly titled StAnza is a literary festival that focuses on verse. Joining the locals for readings, performances, slams, open mics, jazz, films, workshops and poetry-related art exhibitions, and installations are a host of local and international wordsmiths. Among those taking part are Imtiaz Dharker, Harry Giles, Alan Spence, Gerda Stevenson, Antosh Wojcik, Caroline Teague and Kate Tough.

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Reviews & features

StAnza: International poets and voices converge on scenic Scottish shores

14 Mar 2019

The List's Books Editor takes on Scotland's biggest poetry festival

Held in scenic Fife hotspot, St Andrews, StAnza is a poetry festival that benefits from a beautiful backdrop. That said, the programme is always just as captivating as the views and anyone able to fit a visit to the festival into their 2020 schedule is…

Spring into Fife: What's happening in March, April and May 2019

15 Feb 2019

Celebrate the glories of the season in Fife with art trails and exhibitions, floral festivals, poetic extravaganzas and so much more

As the days grow longer and winter finally loosens its frigid grip, there's no better place to enjoy spring's many gifts than Fife. Many perennial favourites mark their return this time of year, from festivals of poetry and ideas to creative trails…

StAnza 2019: 'Poetry will not change or save the world but it will always be on the side of resistance to hate'

1 Feb 2019

Some of this year's StAnza poets tell us their thoughts on the power of poetry beyond borders

In periods of great uncertainty, poetry can be a means of comfort for many, reassuring, soothing or even challenging in its form and function. Each year, StAnza delivers a programme packed with the finest voices in the poetry world, ranging from…

StAnza returns for its 21st year

14 Dec 2017

Headliners include Sinead Morrissey, Ko Un, Gillian Allnutt and Douglas Dunn

StAnza, the international poetry festival based in St Andrews, returns in March 2018 with more than 80 readings, discussions and performances. The festival has two themes this year: 'The Self' and 'Borderlines', as well as a strand named 'Going Dutch…

StAnza 2017 celebrates Scotland's heritage and international partnerships

17 Feb 2017

Patience Agbabi, Jackie Kay and Ron Butlin among the many highlights of this year's programme

The annual St Andrews based StAnza festival is commonly recognised as a leading festival of poetry in the UK and throughout Europe. With the aim of introducing the work of emerging and established poets to as wide an audience as possible, the festival…

National Poetry Day: five ways to enjoy some sweet rhymes and couplets

4 Oct 2016

Gone are the days you have to sit in a library reading sonnets: video poetry, spoken word and slams are the future

For some people, poetry means Shakespearean sonnets read by people sporting Jacobean ruffs, lines read at weddings about love being like dove from above, and dirty limericks about folk from Nantucket. To be fair, poetry can mean all of those things.

Stellar agenda in store for StAnza's 19th year

25 Jan 2016

Lineup at St Andrews poetry fest includes Don Paterson, Lemn Sissay and Jemima Foxtrot

We're waxing lyrical about StAnza: Scotland's international poetry festival, which takes place each spring in St Andrews. There are two themes for 2016: 'City Lines' and 'Body of Poetry', and there are hundreds of acts lined up to tackle them. The…

The human body and architecture revealed as key themes as StAnza 2016 programme unveiled

1 Dec 2015

Poetry festival lineup includes Andrew McMillan, Christine De Luca, Fiona Benson and Don Paterson

It's that time of year again: we're waxin' lyrical about Stanza, Scotland's much-loved festival of poetry. The lineup for 2016's festival (which runs from Wed 2 to Sun 6 Mar) has been announced, and it's looking like a…

StAnza 2016 festival lineup announced

7 Oct 2015

Don Paterson, Jo Bell and Lemn Sissay are among the highlights of a diverse poetry festival

Poems are like kisses: we're all theoretically in favour of them, but you don't always want to be given one by a complete stranger. Lucky, then, for poetry festivals, where the expectation is part of the fun. StAnza, St Andrews' own poetry festival…

StAnza 2015: Why we need more poetry events like StAnza

11 Mar 2015

Packed houses for the St Andrews festival show there's an audience for poetry

What would make you go to a poetry reading? There are some folk who can’t get enough of the things, attending poetry events on an almost nightly basis. But even they would have to admit that, for the average reading, you don’t expect gigantic audiences…

StAnza 2015: Helen Mort

10 Mar 2015

The Derbyshire Poet Laureate impresses at Scotland's poetry festival with new work engaged with the

On Friday night at the StAnza Poetry Festival 2015, the young Derbyshire poet Helen Mort held a packed house spellbound with poems about ghosts, whippets, running and climbing through the craggy British landscapes. WB Yeats wrote that poetry 'makes…

StAnza 2015: Kei Miller comes home

10 Mar 2015

Former Glasgow-based poet returns to rapturous welcome in Scotland

The Jamaican-born poet Kei Miller was, until recently, claimed as one of Scotland’s own poets; he was Reader at Glasgow University until 2014. Sadly for Caledonians, he has since moved to teach at Royal Holloway in Surrey, but he made a return visit to…

StAnza 2015: Simon Armitage, one of Britain’s best?

10 Mar 2015

Highly accomplished StAnza headliner justifies an ever growing reputation

Simon Armitage began his Saturday night headliner set at StAnza Poetry Festival in St Andrews with a comic poem about airports. ”Thank you for waiting”, it began, before the voice in the poem - taking the form of a flight attendant inviting passengers…

StAnza 2015 boasts a world-class lineup

11 Feb 2015

St Andrews' international poetry festival features Simon Armitage, Bill Manhire and Alice Notley

'There's a long tradition of poetry festivals in St Andrews,' explains Eleanor Livingstone, director of the town's current incumbent StAnza. 'It dates back to the 1970s, when the US writer Jay Parini, then studying at St Andrews University, started…

Simon Armitage and Bill Manhire headline StAnza poetry festival in 2015

1 Oct 2014

Sinéad Morrissey, Ian Duhig and Alice Notley also set to perform at annual event in St Andrews

StAnza, Scotland’s poetry festival, has revealed that Simon Armitage and New Zealand’s Poet Laureate Bill Manhire will be among its headliners for 2015. The annual event takes place in venues across St Andrews but has its hub at the Byre Theatre…

International line-up of poets set to attend 2014 Stanza poetry festival

21 Jan 2014

Carol Ann Duffy, Louis de Bernieres and Paul Muldoon among highlights of St Andrews festival

Dip your toe - or better still, take a swim - into the pool of words that makes up the 2014 Stanza poetry Festival in St Andrews from 5-9 March. This year, as ever, there is a great line-up of international and national poets reading their work…

Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy and John Burnside announced for StAnza 2014

3 Oct 2013

Sujata Bhatt, David Constantine, Tishani Doshi, Brian Turner and Menna Elfyn also to appear

StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival, has revealed the names of some of the poets who will be appearing at the festival from Wed 5–Sun 9 Mar 2014, including Paul Muldoon, Carol Ann Duffy and John Burnside. The full program, which will not be…

StAnza, Fife Jazz Festival and other events to continue in wake of Byre Theatre's closure

28 Jan 2013

The St Andrews theatre is set to close on Thu 31 Jan; scheduled shows will go on in new venues

The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, is being forced to shut down because of its financial difficulties. The theatre has struggled to cover its costs in recent years, with problems exacerbated with the withdrawal of funding by the former Scottish Arts Council…

Julia Donaldson set for appearance in Zog and the Gruffalo - interview

19 Jan 2011

The celebrated children's author on Mick Jagger, tea and abusing the power of local radio

First record you ever bought ‘Girl Don’t Come’ by Sandie Shaw. First film you saw that really moved you The Red Balloon about a little boy in Paris. I cried when the balloon burst. First movie you ever went on a date to Planet of the Apes (with…

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