The day has finally arrived, the day when months of planning come together and culminate in the launch of our core programme for next spring, and what a festival it promises to be! The StAnza 2014 programme is now revealed and you can browse through it online - five packed days of events in St Andrews from 5 – 9 March, plus three workshops leading up to the festival.
We are delighted that acclaimed novelist and author of book-made-movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières, has agreed to launch the festival, ten years after he read some of his early poetry at StAnza.
Speaking to StAnza earlier this month, Louis de Bernières said:
“Coming to St Andrews ten years ago to read my own poetry for the first time in public gave me the confidence to rework everything I’d done, produce a great deal more, and get my first collection published. I will always be grateful to the StAnza festival, and always delighted to return.”
He launches a varied festival inspired by art, sport, and poetry from across the Commonwealth, in Scotland’s second year of Homecoming, bringing together poets from places as far ranging as Jamaica, Botswana, India and South Africa, to explore the idea of what home means to them, as part of our first theme, a Common Wealth of Poetry.
In the year Scotland hosts the Commonwealth Games, we’ll be presenting a variety of sports inspired events and installations. StAnza will preview a selection of new poems from Glasgow poetry network St Mungo’s Mirrorball, inspired by commonwealth sports. This digital installation will include a poetic tribute by Alexander Hutchison to Phil Caira, the Fifer who won weightlifting medals in the 1958 and 1962 Games; and an interactive exhibition of poetry spun on tennis balls invites visitors to create new poetry by spinning the balls woven onto a mesh frame, to reveal new poetry that can be read in any direction.
On 5th March StAnza 2014 will kick off with a new, award winning circus show Rime, based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s classic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and making use of group acrobatics, human towers, Chinese poles, silks, and flips and tricks to tell this beautiful haunting tale.
The centenary of the start of WW1 provides the focus for our second theme for next year, Words Under Fire, as part of which our Past & Present series will feature a range of 20th century poets who wrote about war. This theme will also appear elsewhere in the festival, in exhibitions, films, readings, workshops and spoken word performances
As ever there will be a range of participation events – including three extended workshops in the run up to the launch – along with a Masterclass with Paul Muldoon. Edinburgh ‘cabaret of words, music and lyrical delights,’ Rally and Broad, will host the StAnza Slam for us, and there will opportunities for participants to try out their own poetry at one of three open mic events.
We will be adding further events and installations over the next month, so keep checking for updates, but meantime enjoy the feast now online here. You’ll notice that the Byre theatre appears as a venue, and we are delighted that temporary arrangements have been put in place to allow StAnza limited use of the Byre for the festival in March 2014.
Tickets will go on sale in January from ON at Fife and VisitScotland in St Andrews and we’ll give out more information on that soon. The printed brochure will be available in late January and brochures can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 01334 474610.