Join the Conversation - free workshop

Friday 19 July 2019, 12:11

If you're interested in our workshop this month, Join the Conversation with Helena Nelson on writing poetry reviews, we have now firmed up the arrangements which are set out below. If you haven't yet reserved your place, email And please bring along your own pen and paper.

Join the Conversation: a workshop on writing reviews

Wednesday 31st July: 1.15pm - 4.00pm
The Conference Room
Byre Theatre,
Abbey Street, St Andrews
KY16 9LA
Categories: News

More poetry at the Edinburgh festivals!

Tuesday 16 July 2019, 17:46

If you spend much time in Edinburgh, you’ll probably have noticed the tell-tale signs that the city is once again gearing up for its annual festivals: the first intrepid street performers have made their way to the Royal Mile, while tour guides and their groups wind through the growing crowds. Along with the sword swallowers and comedians, a wealth of poetic talent comes to Edinburgh in August. Here are just some of the shows we’re looking forward to.


Hannah Raymond-Cox is very much a StAnza alumni, so we’re thrilled to see her returning to the Fringe! Hannah took part in her first ever slam at StAnza 2015, returning to claim the winning title the following year.

You might also remember Hannah from StAnza 2018, when she performed a shorter edit of Polaris at one of our Poetry Cafés – if you missed this or want to see the whole show, make sure you get yourself down to the Scottish Poetry Library this summer. A remarkably crafted, viscerally performed queer coming-of-age tale, Polaris dips into questions of how teenage girls talk about their bodies and desires, as well as paying homage the redemptive power of really good soup.

17:00 on 2 – 24 August (except Sundays and Mondays), Scottish Poetry Library


We were lucky enough to see Harry Josephine Giles’ Drone when it came to the Traverse early in the summer, and: wow. This is performance poetry at its most beautiful and bizarre best. Harry Josephine makes full bodily use of a sparse set for this sequence of poems which plays with the different meanings of the word drone, examining technology, gender and labour with an utterly playful seriousness.

19:10 on 31 July – 7 August (except 1 and 12 August), Summerhall


Jemima Foxtrot charmed StAnza audiences with her previous spoken word show, Melody, in 2016: funny and bittersweet, the show interwove poetry and song with a lightness of touch and seriousness of intent. So we’re excited to see her latest offering Cactus, a solo show exploring confessional art and modern life.

20:15 on 3 – 24 August (except 15 August), Bar Bados

We’ll be sharing more as the festival draws closer, so watch this space!

Categories: News

Join the Conversation!

Monday 15 July 2019, 21:08

We're delighted to announce that we're offering one of our StAnza stand-alone events later this month. This will be a free workshop in St Andrews delivered by the ever wonderful Helena Nelson of HappenStance Press.

‘More poets should write reviews!’ says Helena Nelson. ‘But not the boring kind.’ So here’s a workshop to encourage creative review writing. It’s an art, like any form of writing – good for your style, good for your profile, and good for your poetry. Come along to a practical, hands-on-the-poetry session that offers reading, writing, discussion, key techniques, plenty of laughter, and some free gifts.

We're firming up arrangements for date, time and place, and we'll confirm these soon, but at present it's looking likely to be on Wednesday 31st July in the Byre Theatre. The workshop will be free but ticketed, and limited in capacity, so if you'd like to reserve a place, pending confirmation of the details, please email We'll allocate places to those who email first.

Postscript: details now confirmed for the workshop as follows:

Wednesday 31st July, 1.15pm to 4.00pm

Conference Room, Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, St Andrews

Categories: News

Poetry at the Edinburgh festivals

Wednesday 10 July 2019, 16:00

As August approaches, we're checking out what poetry is going to be available in Edinburgh and happy to share this with you. Here's the first batch, with events featuring JL Williams. If you would like us to post your Edinburgh festival poetry events here, then email them to in the same format as below.

30 July 2019, 19:30 - 21:00
Vahni Capildeo & fellow poets Alycia Pirmohamed, Iain Morrison and JL Williams
Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh
Slow Reading in the Garden Workshop
Daphne Loads and JL Williams
7 August 2019, 10:15 – 13:00
The Botanic Cottage, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR
Breaking Bread at the Edinburgh International Festival
15 August 2019, 18.00 - 19.30
Art Late: 'The Moment': Music and Words inspired by Victoria Crowe
23 August 2019, 19.00 - 21.00
City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Please note that we don't have any more information on these events than we post here so if you want to find out more, you would have to ask the poets or the venues.

Categories: News

"Outstanding Festival"???

Tuesday 9 July 2019, 11:59

George Mario Angel Quintero at StAnza 2019, photo by David Vallis

George Mario Angel Quintero at StAnza 2019, photo by David Vallis

Shout it out loud!  We are absolutely thrilled that StAnza 2019 has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Festival category of The Herald Scottish Culture Awards. This is a very welcome tribute to everyone who helped make this year's festival the success it was. The list starts, of course, with all the poets and others who took part in the festival and gave us such amazing events. Then there are our amazing audiences, the wonderful StAnza team including so many volunteers; each year we tell them that we couldn't do it without them, and each year never a truer word is spoken.

We worked with a great range of partners in 2019, and nothing would be possible without everyone at the Byre Theatre - the box office, front of house, technical team and not forgetting the bar and kitchen staff - the Town Hall, Parliament Hall and St John's Undercroft, and all the other venues we use. And underpinning it all, our funders, supporters and sponsors who have faith in us to deliver successful festivals. So, if you fall into any of the above categories, then our warmest thanks to you.

It's wonderful just to be in the shortlist, but of course we're keeping all our fingers and toes crossed until the winner is announced, which will be on Thursday 11 July.  If it's good news, of course we'll be letting you know.

Categories: News

Podcasts and videos too!

Monday 8 July 2019, 15:59

..... and as well as articles and reviews available to date, we also have links to podcasts taken at the festival which are already online, thanks to our friends at the Scottish Poetry Library. There's also a YouTube video of the first ever flashmob performance at StAnza which wonderfully enlivened the Byre on the Friday evening, thanks to Helena Nelson and her amazing HappenStance ensemble.  Enjoy!


Liz Berry at StAnza

Fiona Moore at StAnza


Flashmob at StAnza 2019

The Jumblies flashmob at StAnza 2019, photo by David Vallis

The Jumblies flashmob at StAnza 2019 by HappenStAnce team; photo by David Vallis

Categories: News