The Arch - including poems by William Soutar

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Legacy projects and events resulting from StAnza which we don’t plan, which spring from connections made at the festival, are rewarding in a very special way. An unexpected outcome from StAnza 2018 led to a further event and a new project this year, the outcome of which now features in a StAnza e-book available online here, featuring poems by the Scottish poet William Soutar (1898-1943).

The poets Geart Tigchelaar and David Eyre met in St. Andrews when both took part in StAnza 2018. During the festival they began their own project, the translation of Geart’s poems from Frisian into Scots. When invited to recommend poets for the inaugural Soutar Festival of Words, StAnza were happy to suggest that Geart and David might be invited to meet again to discuss their project. This event took place in Perth in April 2019.

Geart cycled from the Netherlands to Scotland for the Soutar Festival of Words, and afterwards he and David travelled together across Scotland. As well as his bike and tent, Geart brought with him a newly discovered enthusiasm for Soutar’s poems. Geart kept a Facebook travel journal of his 2019 spring visit to Scotland in the form of photographs, one posted each day on his journey, along with a suitable Soutar poem or excerpt.

Geart suggested that StAnza might like to do something with them and we were very happy to agree. This involved research into William Soutar and copyright for his poems, and we are most grateful to the National Library of Scotland, the Friends of William Soutar, the A. K. Bell Library in Perth and the Soutar Festival of Words for helpful responses to our queries. These beautifully matched poems and images selected by Geart Tigchelaar were gathered together in this StAnza e-book. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have, and if you’d like to read more of William Soutar’s poems, the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh would be a good place to start.

The Arch