Poets invited to apply for TheoArtistry Project

Wednesday 11 October 2017, 10:38

St Andrews in the mist...

St Andrews in the mist...

We're delighted to be collaborating with The Institute of Theology, Imagination and the Arts at St Mary's College at St Andrews University on a project for next year, with Michael Symmons Roberts as mentor, and we're inviting poets who would like a chance to be included in this to contact us now.

As part of the TheoArtistry Composers’ Scheme, six composers have already collaborated with researchers in ITIA and Sir James MacMillan to produce new musical settings of Scriptural texts. On the eve of StAnza’s 2018 festival, there will be the launch concert of the CD recording ‘Annunciations’ which includes these six new works for choir.

We are now inviting poets to apply for the TheoArtistry Poets’ Scheme. The six poets selected will spend Tuesday 6th March in St Andrews in sessions including creative workshops, with ITIA researchers, the poet Michael Symmons Roberts, and the composer Sir James MacMillan. On Sunday 11th March, each poet will have the chance to present their draft poem at a StAnza event. The poets will each give permission for the final version of their poem to be included in a book produced by ITIA.

Poets on the scheme will be teamed up with an ITIA theologian partner, who will provide a package of resources on the Scriptural passage allocated to them prior to the Tuesday workshop, follow up on the poet’s own interests in person and/or via skype, and provide a creative sounding board during the scheme.

Poets interested in taking part in this innovative project should email by 31st October with a brief 80 word CV, a sample poem, and a short statement of how you think taking part in this project could help you develop as a poet (250 words).

We look forward to hearing from any poets who might be interested in being involved in this project.

Categories: News

The 2017 Troubadour Poetry Competition

Sunday 8 October 2017, 17:41

There are plenty of poetry competitions around but one we at StAnza are keen to support is the Troubadour International Poetry Prize, not least for its £3,500 cash prize pot and range of runner up prizes. This year the judges are Imtiaz Dharker and Michael Symmons Roberts, two StAnza favourites, who will be reading every poem submitted. The winners will also get a chance read with them at the Troubadour in London later this year.

troubadour international poetry prize 2017 judged by imtiaz dharker & michael symmons roberts

prizes: 1st £2,000; 2nd £1,000; 3rd £500
plus, thanks to leading poetry magazines & troubadour coffee-house,

plus, for all prize-winning poets, an invitation to read at coffee-house poetry on prize night, Mon 27 Nov 2017, with Imtiaz Dharker & Michael Symmons Roberts

submit via e-mail or post by mon 16 oct 2017

You can see the 2016 winning poems & judges' reports on this poems page. And good luck to everyone who submits!

Categories: News

National Poetry Day news about StAnza 2018

Thursday 28 September 2017, 17:18

Happy National Poetry Day! We are delighted to mark the day by launching our programme for StAnza 2018 on our website. StAnza 2018 will run from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th March 2018 in St Andrews, and we have now announced some of the headline voices for next year’s 21st anniversary festival ahead of National Poetry Day on Thursday 28th September.


Next year’s festival is a significant milestone for StAnza which held its very first festival twenty years ago in 1998. We’re delighted to be welcoming some of the biggest names from the literary world and friends of StAnza old and new to St Andrews to celebrate our special anniversary year.


Over the last twenty years we have endeavoured to bring together a diverse mix of well-known talent with new, up and coming poets to create a programme which is fresh and vibrant. This year we have pulled out all the stops to put together a programme which is truly fitting of such an exciting year for StAnza and we look forward to revealing more names over the coming months.


Among the headline poets to appearing at next year's annual festival are former Scots Makar Liz Lochhead and Scottish poet and jazz musician Don Paterson who will be in conversation with Marie-Elsa Bragg, daughter of Melvyn Bragg. They will be joined by former Belfast Poet Laureate and recent Forward Prize winner, Sinéad Morrissey, Gillian Allnutt, who was awarded The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry earlier this year, Tara Bergin, winner of the Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize in 2014 and up and coming Scottish poet William Letford.


StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. Next year’s themes are The Self and Borderlines. StAnza will also have a focus on young people as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People.


Dozens of poets will be taking part in StAnza, along with many musicians, visual artists and film makers bringing the historic Fife town of St Andrews alive with poetry, music and art for five days in March. We hope you will  join us there.


Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 279

Thursday 28 September 2017, 11:41

Kite-Flying on Cullen Beach


I run until the wind plucks at my hopeful handiwork -

Brown paper, string, old cane, held with glue,

And carries it aloft, like Icarus, towards the sun.


My parents huddle, pinched-faced, like refugees, against the rocks -

The Three Kings trudge wearily down the beach,

Towards some promised Bethlehem

Long buried in the sand.


At night, by guttering gaslight's glow, my great-aunt tells me

Tales passed down the long, defeated years -

Of the day the young men left, fresh-faced,

For Culloden, or the Somme, or other Calvary.


And so I run on to catch the wind,

Oblivious in my youthful dreams,

Not grasping yet what Culloden means

Or Gethsemane's night.



Lizzie Napier



Footnote: The Three Kings is the name given to three rocky outcrops on Cullen beach.


View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Dates for your diary - StAnza 2018

Wednesday 13 September 2017, 15:23

Our bookmark for 2018 was circulating in Edinburgh last month but in case you haven't seen it yet, here it is, complete with dates for next March, a few names to get you interested, and the first information on our themes for next year. We'll have more information about the festival later this month.

Thanks to Lyndsey Fineran for the bookmark front image.

Categories: News

Book Week Scotland

Monday 11 September 2017, 19:59

Another date for your diary. This year Book Week Scotland runs from Monday 27th November to Sunday 3rd December. StAnza will be partnering up again with our favourite coffee shop in St Andrews, Zest, for an evening of coffee, good company and of course plenty of poetry on Saturday 2nd December, from 6.30pm to 8.00pm. It will be a free event and unticketed, but if you'd us to note that you're coming and save you a seat, then please email Watch this space for more details coming soon.

Categories: News
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