Come along to Risk-A-Verse!

Monday 3 October 2011, 20:36

National Poetry Day is on Thursday and StAnza's unique contribution to the celebrations take place on Saturday. There's still time to book a ticket!

Risk-A-Verse is a fast-paced poetry slam we've organised with our friends in Edinburgh, the fabulous Inky Fingers, spoken word collective. Fourteen poets are slotted to pit their wits against each other, with a hand-picked panel of discerning judges and the audience to decide on the winners. No one will be on their best behaviour and bad puns will be awarded prizes. The fun begins at 7.30pm at the Byre Theatre on Saturday 8 October. Tickets, £3 (£2) are available from the box office, 01334 475000.

Risk-a-verse is being held as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival

Categories: News

National Poetry Day roundup, Part I

Sunday 2 October 2011, 10:18

This Thurday, 6th October, is National Poetry Day, 2011  in the UK, with a theme this year of "Games". StAnza's contribution to this is our Friendly Slam at The Byre Theatre in St Andrews next Saturday, 8th October, in partnership with Inky Fingers, when we'll have great fun with the Games theme.  The National Poetry Day website has a What's On listing if you want to find out what might be happening near you.

We have been sent details of various activities taking place, including a re-dediation event at the Poetry Garden at the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow at around 1.00 pm.  The Poetry Garden was built ten years ago as part of Japan 2001. For its 10th anniversary, it has been relocated to a more prominent position at the top of the hill within the Botanic Gardens, next to the small pavilion above the flagpole and the Rose Garden. We hope they have sunshine, but if it rains, it will move indoors.  The Consul-General of Japan will be present at a Japanese tea party and there will be readings from Tom Leonard and Katherine Sowerby.

Categories: News

StAnza opens up brave new worlds of poetry

Monday 26 September 2011, 21:55

StAnza took part in a worldwide round of poetry readings on Saturday 24th September, organised by the World Poetry Movement. A  small but beautifully assembled group of  poetry folk gathered in the sunlit Byre Theatre, surrounded by a hefty pile of books and plenty of coffee to replenish us during an afternoon of informal readings and chat.

Ours was just one of 874 poetry readings and events in 540 cities in 107 countries that were planned, with the emphasis on promoting peaceful international links.

 And indeed, from our comfy chairs, we managed to cross oceans and continents, choosing poetry that was new to us, inspiring, or by poets we knew and wanted to share. From the Seine to Struga, from Palestine to the shores of California, it was quite a journey. And, in the spirit of Cavafy, having enjoying the travelling, we might set out on another trip soon.

The World Poetry Movement  (WPM) was founded in Medellín (Colombia) on July 9, 2011, and includes 108 international poetry festivals, 88 poetry projects and 1.016 poets from 126 countries.

Categories: News

11 Poems Everyone Should Know

Saturday 24 September 2011, 08:07

Bob Holman at StAnza 2011 (photo Long Nguyen)

Bob Holman, who took part in StAnza this year, has posted online his list of 11 Poems Everyone Should Know .  Now there's an interesting idea. Bob’s list contains poems by Amy Lowell, E.E. Cummings, Emily Dickinson, Andrew Marvell, Ezra Pound, Ernest L. Thayer, Langston Hughes, Gerard Manley Hopkins, the King James Bible, Arthur Rimbaud and Fernando Pessoa.

But is this a universal list?  How much would individual lists overlap, and is it possible to fix on 11 essential poems. If anyone would like to to post their 11 poems, we'd be happy to publish lists here, for comparison and discussion.

Categories: News

Autumn poetry books giveaway: two exciting new voices

Tuesday 20 September 2011, 21:59

Now that the festival season is over, there's nothing better than having a new poetry collection to dip into as the nights draw in. And our friends at the Edinburgh International Book Festival have kindly supplied us with some books to give away to StAnza followers: windfalls from the crop of wonderful poets who came to Charlotte Square this year. Our first pair of books to give away are tw0 new, highly accomplished new voices.

Rachael Boast (who studied at St Andrews and has been a regular volunteer at StAnza) is a star who is certainly rising. Her first collection Sidereal (Picador) has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, and has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

Will Eaves is a poet and novelist: formerly arts editor of the Times Literary Supplement, he now teaches at the University of Warwick. His first full poetry collection Sound Houses (Carcanet) ranges in subject and setting from the Australian bush to the West Country, from sick rooms to football terraces and examines the uncertainties of everyday life with both a comic and elegiac sensibility.

To take part in our giveaway, email your name and full postal address to

The first entry to be received before 5pm, Friday 23 September will receive the books.

Categories: News

Risk a verse at the StAnza and Inky Fingers Slam, 8 October

Wednesday 14 September 2011, 08:46

StAnza’s lively poetry slams have become a byword for great entertainment all year round. This autumn, StAnza has teamed up with Inky Fingers, the spoken word collective from Edinburgh, to present the latest of its Risk-A-Verse nights at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews at 7.30pm on 8 October.

Risk-A-Verse is one of a series of creative events being held in Fife during October as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival. It’s also a great way for poetry fans to mark National Poetry Day (6 October). Slams are fun, fast and friendly, a chance for everyone to show they have a voice in an entertaining atmosphere. Come along to cheer on the poets, or perform a poem on stage yourself. To sign up for one of the performer’s slots, just email the organisers on

Tickets are available from the Byre Theatre 01334 475000. For more about SMHAFF, visit their website: .

Categories: News
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