A feast of pies and poetry: Rachel McCrum's Poetry Cafe experience

Saturday 9 March 2013

Or:  The Importance Of Pie In Earnest:)

Rachel McCrum/photo Chris Scott

There was a delightfully unexpected addition to our lunchtime reading at Stanza today.


Small, tasty, perfectly formed and with the component parts – curried chicken or solid savoury macaroni cheese – hidden beneath warm pastry crusts, they provided nourishment for body and soul.  Not to mention their olfactory charms, creating an intimate atmosphere amongst the darkened tables clustered in the grand surroundings of the Town Hall Auditorium on a dank, dreich day in St Andrews.

(There was also Irn Bru, but it doesn’t fit into this metaphor)

Harry Giles and I were in attendance to read at one of the coveted Poetry Cafe lunchtime slots at Stanza. We were excited, nervous, and heartened by the generous response from the audience for our own bitesize offerings.

Harry and I have worked together closely over the past couple of years as part of the Inky Fingers collective, and had been billed as ‘stalwarts of the Edinburgh spoken word scene’. This is (a) highly flattering and (b) exciting in its recognition of the fact that there IS a spoken word scene in Edinburgh, one that is lively, ambitious and growing. We were extremely proud to be representing it at Stanza 2013.

Harry’s a veteran of both St Andrews and Stanza from his student days, but a rushed dash up to last year’s slam aside this is my first visit to Stanza proper. I appreciate that this year is not the norm for the festival following the closure of the Byre, however, the Festival staff and volunteers have pulled out all the stops to ensure that regular service is in effect. They’ve concocted a heady mix of poetic voices, stimulating events (a particularly energetic re-enactment of the Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy being the choicest – albeit sauciest - morsel), delicate exhibits and most importantly people, and effortlessly shaped it all into one glorious whole with hard work and flair.

Much like baking a pie, really.

Find out more  about Inky Fingers

Poetry Cafe events are here

StAnza's tasty pies at Poetry cafe are provided by the famous Fife bakers, Stuart of Buckhaven