As we move through February, a reminder that if you haven’t got your tickets for StAnza
yet, you might want to do so soon. However with so much on the programme, however late you leave it, there will still be plenty of free and unticketed events, exhibitions, installations and other festival projects to enjoy at StAnza over five days between 2nd and 6th March.
We’re most excited that one of these free events will be our first ever Collective Poetry Reading at StAnza. This very short event – or perhaps ‘happening’ is a better expression – will take place in the Byre Theatre foyers on Saturday 5th March, just before the evening events start. S.J. Fowler, who elsewhere in the festival will be bringing the excitement of his Camarade to St Andrews (he’s just back from leading a similar session in Buenos Aires), will lead a communal collective reading of a new anthology of poems for refugees, Over Land, Over Sea from Five Leaves Publications. We don’t want to say too much at this stage about how this event will work because surprise is part of what makes it effective – StAnza's Eleanor Livingstone saw Steven lead a similar reading in Berlin last year and found it amazingly powerful – but we’re hoping lots of people give 15 minutes of their time that evening to support this ambitious and worthy project. Jemima Foxtrot, who recently arranged a poetry flash mob for Tate Britain, will be supporting Steven in leading this, but we need lots of people to come and make it happen. No experience of reading poetry is necessary so come along to join in or to watch and support what's attempted.
If possible we’ll live webcast it, and as usual we are planning to live webcase the three Poetry Breakfast panel discussion events, so even if you can’t be at StAnza for everything this year, you’ll be able to tune in to catch some of the festival. Ticket sales for these and other events are going well and even some of the bigger events are moving towards being sold out so if you don’t want to be disappointed, don’t leave it too late, book your tickets now. The festival brochure can be viewed online here and of course full information on the programme, with links to the box office, is available at www.stanzapoetry.org.
If March still seems a while away, there’s an interesting event coming to the Byre Theatre next Tuesday where the second instalment of Soundings sees the great novelist Michel Faber (Under the Skin, The Book of Strange New Things) in conversation with one of the UK’s pre-eminent composers, Tansy Davies. The programme will feature Mr. Faber reading from an unpublished novel beneath projections of his own drawings and a world premier of one of Ms. Davies’s new pieces. The two will then sit down to discuss the commonalities and divergences between music and literature, the act of taking risks in a risk-adverse world, and everything in between. This all happens at 8pm in the Byre Theatre on Wednesday 17th February and you can get full details, and book tickets, at the Byre Theatre’s website.
And if you’re looking ahead beyond spring to summer, the East Neuk Festival has launched its
2016 programme and tickets will go on sale on 18 February. Themes of Romanticism and Remembrance dominate this year, with a new choral commission to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and music from the high summer of Romanticism featuring music by Mendelssohn,
Schumann, Liszt and Chopin performed by festival favourites including pianist Christian Zacharias, Pavel Haas Quartet, Calidore Quartet and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Festival dates are 22 June to 2 July. Full programme details are online at www.eastneukfestival.com and tickets are available from Hub Tickets at www.hubtickets.co.uk.
From Five Leaves Publications