Natasha Tretheway (image © Matt Valentine)
Significant moments are, in many ways, what poems are about and these moments can be personal and intimate, or of national and international importance. The line-up at StAnza reflects these preoccupations in subtle ways, combining the Scottish perspective with an international outlook. Thus Scottish poet Tom Pow’s Dying Villages project explores the decline of communities of central and Eastern Europe and Rab Wilson’s new documentary film Finding the Seam returns us closer to home with the story of Fife coal-mining.
Also engaging with historical events are two poets from the USA. Natasha Trethewey’s work explores her own personal history and the wider implications of living in the American South as in her poems ‘Myth’ ‘Providence’ and ‘Miscegenation’ which she reads here
Kevin Young who, like Trethewey, teaches at Emory University, Georgia is inspired by African American music and the history of Black America, filtered through richly evoked family reminiscences, as in the poems, ‘Aunties’ and ‘Flash Flood Blues’ which he reads here
Returning to Europe, Dresden-born Durs
Grünbein was a witness to the changes brought about by German unification and the demise of the GDR – a place, he has said, where ‘the best refuge was a closed mouth’ – has informed his work. One of Germany’s most important poets, his poetry has recently been translated into English by Michael Hofmann in Ashes for Breakfast (2006), excerpts from which they both read here
Political, personal, comical, tragic or satirical, dwelling on significant moments or charting the flow of events, these are just some of poets who will bring rich and rewarding experiences to audiences at StAnza from 16th March. Explore the programme and participants at www.stanzapoetry.org