StAnza 2016 Afterword

Kevin Mclean photo (c) Dave Vallis

Afterword 2016

Happiness in Stanza - this Festival is unique. The best stage poetry can get: a lovely team, a warm audience, happy poets and apricose beer. A place where poets, editors, translators and poetry lovers can meet, laugh connect and exchange. It taught me a good deal about poetry and how poetry can be celebrated. Aurelie Maurin, Berlin

We’ve finally reached the equinox, the midway point between StAnza 2016 and the 2017 festival: the perfect moment to look back and the celebrate the festival that was. And what a festival!

For our 19th annual festival the international line-up of poets, artists, musicians, writers and film-makers (listed below) who featured in this year's programme included some of today’s leading names from the UK as well as exciting newer voices. They were joined by poets from Australia, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Canada and the USA who come together to deliver around 100 readings, performances and discussions, and music and film events, along with workshops and a plethora of other opportunities to get involved. Our programme offered something for everyone, from Breakfast at the Poetry Café to late night events in the café bar.

StAnza grows and transforms each year and we’re (still!) thrilled to bits that some of our innovations for 2016 met with such a warm reception. We had our first ever dedicated language focus this year, with the spotlight on German-language poetry, and it was simply wunderbar to see so many people attending and enjoying these events celebrating foreign-language poetry and the power of translation. Highlights from this ranged from a boundary-blurred, jazz-fuelled Saturday night performance from Nora Gomringer to a surprising installation on the poetry of manhole covers. (We kid you not.)

The best festivals spill out of the auditoriums and workshop spaces into the spaces in between, and StAnza 2016 was no exception, with poets, artists and audience members taking poetry out into St Andrews. Throughout the festival, poems walked around in the form of poetry tattoos; hashtag poetry was curated online and around the festival by the ever inventive Clive Birnie; and in a more sombre moment, poets and audience members alike gathered together for a collective reading in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers. It was a festival warm with the sharing of words and of ideas.

But as always, the last word has to go to a poet.

“StAnza – possibly the perfect poetry festival…” Kirsten Luckins

StAnza 2016 : 2 - 6 March : Gallery

Photographs from the festival, thanks to all our photographers.


2016 Reviews and Interviews

Post Festival:

The Scotsman: StAnza 2016 festival review              

The Goethe Institut magazine: StAnza Poetry Festival 2016 – Mapping the World with Poetry

SPL: Diversity Rich

Dave Poems: StAnza 2016 review Part I

Dave Poems: StAnza 2016 review Part II

Kirsten Luckins: StAnza, possibly the perfect poetry festival

Dura Review: James Arthur and Sharon Black

Dura review: Lemn Sissay and Don Paterson

Dura review: StAnza lecture

The List:  StAnza 2016 shows poetry and politics are necessary bedfellows

The List: StAnza 2016 - emerging writers and ones to watch

The List: StAnza 2016 shows gaelic poetry isn't just traditional, it's progressive

The List: StAnza 2016 - writers from all over the world flock to Scotland

The Mumble: Past and present review

The Mumble: Aase Berg and Valerie Laws review

The Mumble: Review of Poetry Cafe, Jemima Foxtrot in Melody

The Mumble: Review of Poetry Cafe with Kirstin Luckins

Steven Fowler: StAnza

Kathryn Ailes: StAnza 2016 reflections

The Three Day Residency That Lasted Three Months: Clive Birnie

Harry Man: The Scores

Burnt Thumb: StAnza, the festival of the poetry community

Elizabeth Hare: Recovering from poetry festivals, a users’ guide

St Andrews Rare Books blog

Martyn Crucefix: Two great days at StAnza

Bookseeker Literary Agency: StAnza 2016

Ellen McAteer: StAnza 2016

St Leonards stands with StAnza

Vicki Husband: StAnza, an extreme sport

Mark Russell blog

The Tribe: People don't burn candles anymore

Fife Today: A diverse festival of verse

Fife Today: It's Scotland at its best

The Courier: StAnza gets under way

The Scotsman: StAnza brings the greats to a little corner of Fife

Katie Hale blog: I think I overdosed on poetry

The Saint: How to be a slam poet

StAnza blog: Opening night

StAnza blog: Reflections on poetry and friendships

StAnza blog: Festival through the senses

StAnza blog: Hashtag poet in residence  

Slender Means: StAnza 2016

Jemima Foxtrot blog

Pre festival:

Fife Today: A slam dunk line-up for StAnza festival (12 Dec 2015) 

Boersenblatt: StAnza poetikfestival in schottland - Deutsche Lyrik im Fokus

The Herald: Don Paterson to headline national poetry festival

The National: St Andrews to host international festival

The List: Stellar agenda in store for StAnza's 19th year

The Scotsman: in a few weeks’ time St Andrews welcomes the poetry world

Schottlandberater: StAnza literaturfestival  

TV Bomb: StAnza, Scotland's poetry festival

Revistaojo: Poetry in solidarity  

The Courier: Festival headline acts are poetry to the ears 

Literary Dundee: Dundee flavours at StAnza

StAnza 2016 Information

StAnza 2016 took place from 2-6 March, 2016

StAnza 2016 Brochure online >>

File Stanza 2016 brochure

Festival Themes

Our themes for StAnza 2016 were City Lines, and Body of Poetry.

In the first we looked at urban verse, and how poetry engages with city life and connects cities. For Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we designed a festival programme which celebrated architecture and explored how poetry can engage literally, metaphorically and environmentally with our built environment. Both in discussions and creatively, we asked how poetry can help people build personal and public creative spaces. Our second theme, Body of Poetry, embraced the many ways in which poetry celebrates and explores human and other bodies, literally and metaphorically, looking at their needs and appetites, strengths and weaknesses. And in an innovation for 2016, we also had our first dedicated translated language focus with a strand of events showcasing German poetry.

2016 Participants

The Accidentals
Zia Ahmed
Katie Ailes
Darran Anderson
James Arthur
Stephan-Maria Aust
Janette Ayachi
Aileen Ballantyne
Meg Bateman
Jo Bell
Henry Bell
Fiona Benson
Aase Berg
Clare Best
Clive Birnie
Sharon Black
Lana Bode
Malika Booker
Pat Borthwick
Rita Bradd
Gavin Bryce
Gale Burns
Alison Burns
John Burnside
Gerry Cambridge
Frances Cooper
Harriet Creelman
Anna Crowe
Martyn Crucefix
Claudia Daventry
Christine De Luca
Michael Donhauser
Jane Draycott
S.J. Fowler
Jemima Foxtrot
Sophie Gainsley
Anne Gilchrist
Nora Gomringer
Matthew Griffiths
Tracey Herd
Joan Hewitt
Sarah Holland-Batt
The Inklight Poets
Jessica Johannesson Gaitán
Brian Johnstone
Lucy Jones
Russell Jones
Margaret Jull Costa
Odile Kennel
Bridget Khursheed
Valerie Laws
Joan Lennon
Kirsten Luckins
Thomas Lynch
Gillebrìde Mac IlleMhaoil
Lindsay Macgregor
Hilke MacIntyre
Magz Macleod
Harry Man
Susan Mansfield
Angus Martin
Aurélie Maurin
Ellen McAteer
Kevin Mclean
Katherine McMahon
Andrew McMillan
George Nakhutsrishvili
Joanna Nicholson
Mary Noonan
Selina Nwulu
Sean O'Brien
Past Poets 2016
Don Paterson
Nalini Paul
Walter Perrie
Pascale Petit
Ellen Phethean
Chris Powici
Julia Prescott
Alan Riach
David Robakidze
Sitar Rose
Mark Russell
Philipp Scholz
Daniela Seel
Jo Shapcott
Rebecca Sharp
Lemn Sissay
Grant Snider
Justin Stephenson
Jim Stewart
Anne Stokes
Donna Stonecipher
Em Strang
Emma Sutton
Matthew Sweeney
Judith Taylor
Paul Tebble
The Blueswater
Frances Thorburn
Samuel Tongue
James Turnbull
Scott Tyrrell
Kate Valentine
Rúni Weihe
Colin Will
Ross Wilson
Heike Winter
Jane Yolen
James Yorkston


Funding for 2016

StAnza was funded by Creative Scotland, EventScotland and Fife Council and supported by the University of St Andrews, the Goethe-Institut, StayInStAndrews and St Leonards.