Blog

Countdown to poetry - that Cape Canaveral Moment: 4 days to go!

Saturday 25 February 2017, 07:12

After the months of preparation and mounting excitement, we are now only days from the festival launch on Wednesday 1 March. Tickets are going fast but there's still time to get your ticket for our opening night event with Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry recipient, John Agard. Roll Over Atlantic, an uproarious voyage in verse and song mixes the subversive tides of cabaret and calypso; and our Sunday event with Ron Butlin, Here Come the Trolls, promises to be great fun for all the family.

Tickets for the Poetry Centre Stage events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday have sold out for the auditorium but we shall be live screening these events to the Studio Theatre and you can now buy your tickets for the live screenings from our box office at The Byre Theatre.

If you want to watch from further afield, you can get links for the Live Webcasts from the festival - four this year - on a new page on our website.

We also have a new filter/page on the website for all the free events at the festival, so if you're looking for free events, it couldn't get any easier to find them.

I look forward seeing you at the launch on Wednesday (6.30pm in the Byre with special guest Sheena Wellington and a taster of some of this year's poets), or later during the festival, and I hope you all have a great StAnza'17.

Please do send us your reviews and photographs afterwards, either by email to stanza@stanzapoetry.org, or by posting on our social media platforms. It's always great to get feedback and to learn what were your festival highlights. And please don't forget to complete a festival questionnaire form, they do help us get funding for future festivals.

Categories: News

Making a Living as a Poet

Tuesday 21 February 2017, 07:00

We are pleased to feature a Guest Post from The Society of Authors, in anticipation of our event in association with them at StAnza next week.

"Poets can be reluctant to talk or think about their work in relation to money – it’s a creative pursuit, and the value of a poem isn’t monetary. But it does have a value, and if we believe in this value and want to share it with others, poets and spoken word artists need to be able to make a living doing what they do.

"The Society of Authors has always advocated for the right of all authors to be fairly remunerated for their work – as the Chair of its Poetry and Spoken Word Group, Tamar Yoseloff, has argued, ‘poems are crafted objects … [and] the time and effort given in their making should be considered’.

"This doesn’t mean that poetry and performance must be commodified like any other product – but it is important to think about the ways in which its makers can secure their own livelihoods.

"The Society of Authors Poetry and Spoken Word Group’s series of events on ‘Making a Living as a Poet’ addresses this problem, through practical discussions with poets and spoken word artists across the UK, each with their different experiences of managing to make poetry pay.

"At its first event in London, Tamar Yoseloff spoke to Julia Bird and Tom Chivers, two poets who also run poetry-related businesses (Jaybird Live Literature, a production company that tours theatricalised poetry shows, and the arts company Penned in the Margins, which produces live performances and publishes experimental literature). Both suggested practical ways in which their audience could look beyond words on the page – to think about using new forms, social media, spoken word and visual art.

"In association with StAnza, Ken Cockburn will be talking to two more poets who work not only in poetry, but in various related fields and jobs that in turn support their writing (and help them pay the bills).

"Sarah Hesketh has balanced her poetry writing with a successful career as a project manager and literature developer, and was shortlisted for the 2014 Kim Scott Walwyn Prize, which celebrates women in publishing. Her commissions and residencies include working with Age Concern and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and the work she produced following these experiences – her collection The Hard Word Box (Penned in the Margins, 2014) and the sequence of poems ‘Grains of Light’ – were influenced by conversations and interviews from her time at both organisations.

"Harry Giles is a performer, poet, game-maker and ‘general doer of things’. Tonguit (Freight Books, 2016) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, but they also have a background in spoken word and live art performance – winning the 2009 BBC Scotland slam championship and touring shows across Europe. Their work also takes place online, and they are involved in a number of arts organisations, including the Forest Café in Edinburgh and the newly-formed The Workers Theatre.

"All three poets make a living by being something more than poets, and will offer attendees practical career advice and a genuinely useful perspective on poetry’s place within a culture and an industry that often needs to be negotiated into rewarding its creators.

"For more information about the work of the Society of Authors Poetry and Spoken Word Group, visit www.societyofauthors.org/groups/pswg."

Making a Living as a Poet will be in the Supper Room at the Town Hall, Queens Gardens on Friday 3 March, 11.30am-12.30pm. Book tickets on our booking page.

Categories: News

The Free Version: StAnza 2017

Sunday 19 February 2017, 11:22

Each year there is a plethora of free events at StAnza - readings, discussions, the walk, a Past & Present, workshops, music and more, plus all the exhibitions, installations and screenings are free and unticketed. So what's to stop you coming along and trying something? Here's a list of most of the free events. For full details, and a page on each event and each participant, go to our website at www.stanzapoetry.org

Wednesday 1st March

2017 Festival & Exhibitions Launch »

Our special guest launches the festival with a taster of poetry and music

Wed 1 March | 18:30 - 19:10 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

St Leonards' folk band »

Music from St Leonards' folk band

Wed 1 March | 21:00 - 21:45 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Café Bar

The Inklight Poets »

Student poetry showcase

Wed 1 March | 21:45 - 23:30 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Café Bar

Thursday 2nd

Poetry Walk: Journeys »

Encounter verse around town: led by Julia Prescott and Barbara Davey

Thu 2 March | 10:00 - 11:15 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Theatre Garden

Inspire Session »

A brief session to prompt your own creativity

Thu 2 March | 10:30 - 11:15 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Festival Desk

Thu 2 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.00/£3.00 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

Musings@MUSA »

A brief session to prompt your own creativity

Thu 2 March | 12:00 - 16:00 | FREE | MUSA (Museum of the University of St Andrews), The Scores

Past & Present Special »

A rare encounter with treasures from the University of St Andrews Library’s Special Collections

Thu 2 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | Free | Napier Room, Martyrs Kirk, North Street

Poetry on the Road: Rebecca Sharp and Bas Kwakman »

A poet and a festival director share their experiences of taking part in an overseas festival

Thu 2 March | 19:00 - 19:40 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room

Jazz Night at StAnza »

Jazz jam session with a spot for the occasional poem

Thu 2 March | 22:00 - 23:30 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Café Bar

Friday 3rd

Inspire Session »

A brief session to prompt your own creativity

Fri 3 March | 10:30 - 11:15 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Festival Desk

Musings@MUSA »

A brief session to prompt your own creativity

Fri 3 March | 12:00 - 16:00 | FREE | MUSA (Museum of the University of St Andrews), The Scores

Meet the Artist »

Meet Robin Gillanders and Henry Gough-Cooper, the artist and poet behind A Lover’s Complaint

Fri 3 March | 12:30 - 13:00 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, FCA&C, Town Hall Foyer

Poems Aloud: University Library Poetry Recitation Competition »

Listen as judges choose the best recitation or performance of a published poem

Fri 3 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Meet the Artist »

Meet some of the poets from the Sightlines exhibition

Fri 3 March | 15:45 - 16:30 | FREE | Public Library, Church Square, Meeting Room

Quiet Open Mic »

An early evening open mic

Fri 3 March | 18:15 - 19:15 | FREE | Zest Juicing and Coffee Bar, South Street

Risk A Verse »

Open Mic with MC Andy Jackson

Fri 3 March | 22:15 - 23:30 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Café Bar

Saturday 4th

Fossil Event »

You've read the poems, now meet the fossils

Sat 4 March | 10:00 - 12:00 | FREE | MUSA (Museum of the University of St Andrews), The Scores

Poetry on the Move (I) »

Get your poetry kicks on route A91

Sat 4 March | 10:00 - 12:30 | FREE | St Andrews Bus Station

Poetry on the Move (II) »

Get your poetry kicks on route A91

Sat 4 March | 10:00 - 14:00 | FREE | Dundee Bus Station

Meet the Digital Poet in Residence »

When digital meets non-virtual - a chance to meet Christodoulos Makris, this year's digital poet in residence at StAnza

Sat 4 March | 11:00 - 11:45 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room

Mr Colombet, the Sommelier of Poetry »

One to one encounters with poetry

Sat 4 March | 12:00 - 14:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

Musings@MUSA »

A brief session to prompt your own creativity

Sat 4 March | 12:00 - 16:00 | FREE | MUSA (Museum of the University of St Andrews), The Scores

Poetry Market »

Presses big and small, pamphlets, magazines

Sat 4 March | 12:00 - 16:00 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

The Appointed Hour »

A workshop on writing in collaboration, led by Roderick Manson

Sat 4 March | 12:00 - 16:10 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Upstairs Foyer

Meet the Artist »

Meet the poets from the After Hugh Miller installation

Sat 4 March | 12:15 - 13:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room

Meet the Artist »

Meet Hilke MacIntyre, the artist behind the Rhythm & Line exhibition

Sat 4 March | 14:00 - 15:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Café Bar

Quebec-UK Connexions: cinepoems »

Meet the artists behind this acclaimed poetry film project between Scotland and Quebec

Sat 4 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room

Inspire Session »

A brief session to prompt your own creativity

Sat 4 March | 15:30 - 16:15 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Festival Desk

The Appointed Hour - the Outcome »

Presenting the outcome of today's workshop on writing in collaboration

Sat 4 March | 15:55 - 16:10 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

Book Launch: New Boots and Pantisocracies »

Join us for the Scottish launch of a new anthology in which poetry engages with polemics

Sat 4 March | 18:15 - 18:45 | FREE | J & G Innes Ltd, Booksellers, South Street

Mr Colombet, the Sommelier of Poetry »

One to one encounters with poetry

Sat 4 March | 18:15 - 19:15 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

Collective Poetry Reading »

Join us for a moment of solidarity in our collective reading

Sat 4 March | 18:55 - 19:05 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

Imprisoned Poets Reading »

Short readings from the work of imprisoned poets by Patience Agbabi and Magi Gibson, presented by Scottish PEN

Sat 4 March | 19:10 - 19:40 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

Sunday 5th

Meet the Artist »

Meet William Hershaw, Fiona Morton and Hugh Bryden, the poet, artist and designer behind the Flying Heich exhibition

Sun 5 March | 12:15 - 13:15 | FREE | The Preservation Trust Museum, North Street

Make it Loud! »

Workshop with spoken word artists Kevin Mclean & Katie Ailes

Sun 5 March | 13:00 - 15:30 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Upstairs Foyer

Meet the Artist »

A chance to hear from writer and filmmaker Timothy Neat

Sun 5 March | 14:30 - 15:15 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room

Meet the Artist »

Meet the photographer behind this Sorley MacLean inspired exhibition

Sun 5 March | 15:00 - 15:45 | FREE | J & G Innes Ltd, Booksellers, South Street

A Tribute: Sandy Hutchison »

Guests celebrate the work of a great Scottish poet and friend to StAnza, chaired by Larry Butler

Sun 5 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

Hallaig »

The poetry and landscape of Sorley MacLean captured on film by Timothy Neat

Sun 5 March | 15:30 - 16:45 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Festival Finale »

The festival ends with a musical send-off

Sun 5 March | 22:00 - 23:30 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Café Bar

Monday 6th

Research Workshop »

Two post-StAnza research workshops

Mon 6 March | 10:00 - 16:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

Tuesday 7th

Research Workshop »

Two post-StAnza research workshops

Tue 7 March | 10:00 - 16:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

Exhibitions, Films & Installations

Orcadians: Seven Impromptus »

Artist Simon Manfield responds to the work of the poet George Mackay Brown

Tue 7 February - Sat 1 April | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 4 Gallery

Rhythm and Line »

The festival and town en-fête seen at a sharp angle by Hilke MacIntyre

Tue 7 February - Sat 1 April | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1

An Roghainn / The Choice »

A tribute to Sorley MacLean through photographic images by Alastair Jackson and poetry by Kenneth Steven

Mon 27 February - Sun 5 March | 09:00 - 17:00 | FREE | J & G Innes Ltd, Booksellers, South Street

Labyrinth »

Lose yourself, or find yourself, in St Andrews' new labyrinth

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 07:00 - 23:00 | FREE | Kinburn Park, St Andrews

A Mountain to Climb »

Mountain poems from the Poetry Map of Scotland

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, and around town

After Hugh Miller »

New poems responding to Hugh Miller’s legacy

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

Browsing History »

Digital poetry by this year's digital poet in residence

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

Grove »

Semi-permanent text interventions by Thomas A. Clark

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Windows & panels

Hotelkamerverhalen »

Images louder than words - hotel rooms from St Andrews to Mongolia and back tell of a life on the poetry trail

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

Mapping the World in Poetry »

A poetic map of the world to celebrate our twentieth festival

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

Poésie exposée / Poetry on Display »

French poetry on show at StAnza in this small cabinet exhibition

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 4 Gallery

Poetry Loops »

Loop showings of films featuring poetry by Geneviève Gosselin-G., Jonathan Lamy, Rachel McCrum, and Calum Rodger

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room

Resting on Almost »

New poems by Maitreyabandhu respond to Cezanne paintings in this digital installation

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

Reusement »

A performance through digital text generation by Jerome Fletcher

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Conference Room

StAnza’s Back Pages »

Twenty festivals offer a good excuse to look back

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

Suspended by a line »

Poetry gears up for a climb

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

The Eternally Packed Suitcase: Lisa Matthews »

An installation with poetry packed into the gaps

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

The Scores »

Poetry lifted off the page

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street

Untranslatable »

New poems attempting the impossible

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

GeoPoems »

Poems from the GeoBus and StAnza Haiku Competition 2017 for mountain-themed poems

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 18:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

Trading Routes »

Fife's traditional trading routes now lead to poetry

Wed 1 March - Sun 5 March | 18:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

A Lover’s Complaint »

A series of visual haiku from Robin Gillanders

Thu 2 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 17:00 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, FCA&C, Town Hall Foyer

Beyond Souvenirs »

A digital installation of commissioned poems on ancient souvenirs of travel

Thu 2 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

Poetry Tattoos »

A chance to use your whole being to quote poetry

Thu 2 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Festival Desk

StAnza’s Listening Booth »

Listen to the voices of French poets

Thu 2 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street

Flying Heich »

A view from the air: linocuts in progress with work from William Hershaw and Fiona Morton

Thu 2 March - Sun 5 March | 11:00 - 17:00 | FREE | The Preservation Trust Museum, North Street, Upstairs gallery

Step Forward »

Mark Goodwin’s sound-enhanced poetry finds echoes in the garden

Thu 2 March - Sun 5 March | 11:00 - 17:00 | FREE | The Preservation Trust Museum, North Street, Garden

The Corbenic Poetry Path at StAnza »

Encounter works from the Corbenic Poetry Path

Thu 2 March - Sun 5 March | 11:00 - 17:00 | FREE | The Preservation Trust Museum, North Street, Garden

The Remedies »

Where better than the Old Chemist’s Shop for a poetic response to Dr. Bach’s Flower Remedies from Katharine Towers

Thu 2 March - Sun 5 March | 11:00 - 17:00 | FREE | The Preservation Trust Museum, North Street, The Old Chemist’s Shop

Sightlines »

Ekphrastic poetry responding to new artwork at the festival

Thu 2 March - Sat 4 March | 13:00 - 17:00 | FREE | Public Library, Church Square, Meeting Room

A Digital Poet in Residence »

Where digital poetry meets Twitter bots

Sat 4 March - Sun 5 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 1 & 2 Foyers

the sea the sea »

An installation and book by American poet Robert Lax

Sun 5 March - Sun 30 April | (All day) | FREE | Around the festival and around St Andrews

Categories: News

Free Workshops at StAnza

Saturday 18 February 2017, 09:59
The festival starts in 10 days time so it all feels very imminent. As well as a line-up of headline poets, new voices, diverse readings and performances to entice you, there are lots of way in which you can take part at StAnza. If you were too late to secure a ticket for our five creative writing workshops from Tuesday through to Saturday - they are all sold out - I'm delighted to let you know about two further workshops we're offering. Not only are they not sold out, they're free!
 
On Saturday you can join Roderick Manson at The Appointed Hour to explore writing in collaboration with others. We piloted this last year and it was a great success. Full details online and if you'd like to sign up, email stanza@stanzapoetry.org. You'll even get a chance to give a short public reading at the end.
 
If you're keen on performing your poetry, Sunday's free workshop - Make it Loud - is for you. Some of the acclaimed Loud Poets collective will be leading a workshop on developing and polishing up your performance skills. Again, full details online and to sign up, email stanza@stanzapoetry.org.
 
If you don't have time to give several hours to a workshop, surely you can spare 10 minutes to join this year's Collective Reading on Saturday 4th March at 6.50pm in the Byre. Everyone is welcome to come and experience a moment of solidarity through the collective yet diverse voice of poetry. With texts which address oppression, hope and survival, we'll be remembering how poetry offers us a way of mapping the world and of building bridges, not walls, between people.
 
The StAnza Slam on Saturday night is another chance for performers. To sign up, email works@stanzapoetry.org, or come along and enjoy the late night fun and passion of poetry. There are also two Open Mics if you want a chance to read, try our early Friday evening Quiet Open Mic or later on Friday, Risk a Verse, this year with a new MC, Andy Jackson.
 
If you plan to be out and about around St Andrews during the festival, watch out for poems on windows. You could join this year's organised Poetry Walk or make your own route with another project for this year which we're about to launch.
 
As ever, there will be lots of small intimate ways of engaging with poetry at the festival, whether it's by taking an Inspire sheet or dropping in at MUSA for inspiration and then heading off to find your own poem, or by trying on a temporary poetry tattoo (they went like hot cakes last year, don't leave it too late to get one!), helping put a poem En Route around town or dabbling with poetry scrabble.
 
You can get more information on our website or ask at the Festival Desk during the festival.
And if you haven't booked your tickets, why not make that this weekend's priority, before any more events sell out. All you need to know about booking is on our How to Book page.
 
 
Categories: News

The Remedies - Review by DURA

Friday 17 February 2017, 08:33

"Katharine Towers’ second poetry collection, The Remedies, is
a clarion call to a kind of modern day  transcendentalism. She might
not wear a hairshirt or, Walden-like live off the land in the woods,
yet, as a poet, she does invite us to consider the lilies, to look at
small miracles and moments of extraordinariness that arise from those
quiet moments of contemplative introspection."

These lines are from the opening paragraph of a review on the DURA website by Gail Low of The Remedies by Katherine Towers who will be reading at StAnza on 5th March at 11.30am. We shall also have a small installation based on The Remedies in the Chemist Shop at the Preservation Trust Museum, running from Thursday through to Sunday, 2 - 5 March. Do make sure not to miss it if you're at the festival. Meantime,  to read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage

Categories: News

Leasungspell - Review by DURA

Saturday 11 February 2017, 05:59

(Smokestack Books, 2016); pbk, £8.99

'Hwæt!
Whether you take that iconic, still-contentious word as an exclamation, an exhortation, or accept Heaney’s gently Hibernian “So”, whatever aspects of the Anglo Saxon epic you unravel in  Leásungspell ,  from the first Bob Beagrie alerts you that all is not as it seems."  '

These are the opening lines of a review on the DURA website by Beth McDonough of Leasungspell, which will be performed at StAnza on Saturday 4th March at 15:30 by Bob Beagrie and friend - an Anglo Saxon fool's tale, an epic journey through the wilds of the Dark Ages.  To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News
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