StAnza's hub venue, The Byre Theatre, St Andrews
For those of you who haven’t come across us before, StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival takes place every March in the historic town of St Andrews, Fife.
StAnza is a celebration of live poetry in all its forms and is as renowned for its warm welcome and intimate atmosphere as for the world class poets it attracts. Few festivals can match its unique mix of over 80 events, many involving music, visual art, comedy and performance. For more background info about StAnza, look at our About section, and to sample the highlights of StAnza 2010, visit our website’s 2010 Afterword page which features photos, reviews, and podcasts.
Our regular blogs will keep you up to date with StAnza’s activities outside the main festival – we have some fantastic events lined for later this year – and we’ll let you know what’s being planned for 2011. We’ll also pass on the latest news from the poetry world and about the poets, writers and musicians who are associated with the festival. Or if you prefer, you can follow us on Facebook where we have a page and a group, or on Twitter.
StAnza takes to the fairways
Poetry and golf proved to make a winning combination during the British Open Championship which was held in St Andrews last week, attracting over 200,000 golf fans. With the eyes of the sporting world focused on Fife, we were delighted to be asked to stage showcase performances in the Open’s Tented Village. The line-up featured some of the poets who appeared at our festival, supported by StAnza regulars. We opened with StAnza 2010′s poet in residence, Kei Miller, whose much heralded new collection, A Light Song of Light, is now out from Carcanet.
Following Kei, we also had Kevin Cadwallander, Angela McSeveney, Anna Crowe and Eddie Gibbons. Delivering poetry at The Open was rather a surreal experience for us, but an enjoyable one – we certainly engaged with a very different audience. I don’t know if anyone managed a hole in one, but no-one got hit by a golf ball.
A Cabaret lunchtime event at StAnza 2010 with Angela McSeveney
StAnza has had encounters with golf before. When Sharon Olds came to StAnza in 2004, she read a side-splitting poem about golfers, inspired by watching them play from her hotel window during her stay here. In 2003, we arranged a six month residency for Roddy Lumsden at the St Andrews Bay Golf Resort and Spa. More recently, Andrew Greig read his lovely golf poem, ‘A Long Shot’, at our 100 Poets Gathering, an event arranged to celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2007. Long may this unique relationship between poetry and golf continue!