Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 353

Tuesday 1 December 2020, 14:10


last spring when the trees began to lift up their trembling cups of green
I was  the ghost of a virgin moving softly among
my tall sisters but now after the warm nights which have left
of the snowfall only a tattered shawl on the ground you
will see me as a roaring  cailleach with wild hair streaked with earth leaping out
from the rock-cleft far over the receiving pool where in
black knees and elbows smashed fallen branches drown

Simon Weller

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

StAnza 2021

Monday 30 November 2020, 16:36

St Andrews by Eleanor LivingstoneHappy St Andrews Day! 

Our programme for 2021 is now revealed! During a glorious week of companionship around poetry in St Andrews last March, we had little idea of the challenges which were ahead. Like everyone else, StAnza has had to respond and adapt. This is reflected in our 2021 programme, most of which is offered on a Pay What You Can basis to make it accessible to all, with thanks to some generous donors, and we hope you’ll support us if you are able to.

Throughout the pandemic, people have been turning to poetry for consolation and inspiration, emphasising the pivotal nature of the artform to our emotional lives. StAnza 2021 celebrates this profound relevance of poetry, showcasing a wide range of the artform, from page to performance, concrete verse to spoken word, established artists to emerging voices – committed as ever to the fact that when it comes to poetry there really is something for everyone. As we cannot invite people to travel to St Andrews, we’re delighted to be bringing StAnza to you wherever you are – including something of St Andrews itself – and we have a packed programme for you, with events, installations and exhibitions which celebrate and interrogate this year’s festival themes of ‘Make It New’ and ‘No Rhyme nor Reason’, and a translated language focus of ‘Beyond the Iron Curtain’.

We’ve built on our experience of offering online events since 2009 to create a dynamic mix
of audio and digital, virtual and streamed events, engaging formats which harness digital potential, such as our Poets at Home strand and podcast crossovers. However, yo
u’ll also find many familiar favourites here, from Past & Present and Meet the Artist sessions to the annual StAnza Lecture, Masterclass and Slam, as well as workshops and open mic events. And as a sense of community is integral to the festival, Zoom will allow you to meet up informally in our virtual Byre Theatre café.

If Covid-19 regulations permit in March, we hope to offer St Andrews folk two outdoor readings
and two poetry walks, while the Byre Theatre and possibly other arts venues around Scotland screen some of our events to small and socially distanced audiences. Check out our Covid safety policy here.
If you’re accessing the festival remotely but without good internet connection, there’s material you can download quickly, and you can also ask for a little bit of the festival to be posted out to you in the form of postcards or window poems or even call up our poetry hotline, Dial-a-Poem

Our Border Crossings sessions have always been a popular feature at the festival. In a time travel is
limited and divisions are rife, it is all the more important that poetry can cross borders and be given a centre stage position. So for 2021, all our main readings see borders being crossed, and all our readings will be centre stage. Across the programme we feature
poets from Russia, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Germany, India, Singapore, Australia, Tasmania, the USA and more, bringing us poetry and commentary from where they are, letting us see through their eyes – literally with our WindowSwap project. And of course, they share StAnza’s virtual platform with UK-based poets, artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers, offering a multi-layered festival experience with something for everyone. This will also be Eleanor Livingstone’s last StAnza as Festival Director, after eleven years at the helm, making this festival especially memorable for us. We hope you join us online to celebrate StAnza 2021 in March! 

Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 352

Thursday 26 November 2020, 14:31

st ninian’s isle

there’s a wind blowing in from the southlands
those dumpling clouds will bring rain tomorrow
but right now these hills are dry and the wild grass is golden

the ayre before me is glorious
gravel sparkling in the late summer sun
crunching this way and that as i make my crossing to st ninian’s

one lonesome seal sheltering in the bay follows my journey
a guardian angel watching over me like no other
such solitude is bliss and i am immortal

overhead the call of a curlew announces his flight
gliding toward the moorland to feed
whilst i navigate thrift on the bank

a wheatear watches as ancient kirk ruins appear over the brae
picts and norsemen long since departed
like the treasures once found under a tombstone

yet this isle
this old norse place
is priceless

Colin Rutherford

Categories: News, Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 351

Tuesday 24 November 2020, 18:15

Barnhill, Jura

My backpack saws against my jacket
highlighting each stride,
198 4 miles signposted to Orwell’s haunt,
the distance doubled to my sore knees.

My friend offers scout leader patience
at my toddler concern
of ‘are we even halfway there yet?’
For her, this is a mere warmup
for tomorrow’s trek of all three Paps.

I’m not here just for the mountains,
the smack of island blue or long lost friends,
but to reconnect with my first self
who stepped blindly on her own path
and discovered those things had meaning.

Lunch among the thistles,
ferns and cow pies below the house,
blue seas and sailboats,
I relish each aching moment.

Back down The Long Road,
words on snapped tiles, embedded in mud
read like the poetry of sore feet
and bumbling boots.

Gerry Stewart

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland no. 350

Wednesday 18 November 2020, 17:57

Grangemouth Refinery
A rainbow lands on Grangemouth Refinery,
in its far off haze 
across the Firth of Forth;
white gaseous plumes 
momentarily extinguished
within its cloak of many colours.
Such unlikely beauty 
at the rainbow’s end.
At night 
two flames burn from its distant shore,
reflecting on the water to make four.
Candles holding vigil 
for the fragile beauty 
that went before.
Such unlikely beauty 
at the day’s end.

Edward Rogers

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Director Vacancy

Friday 16 October 2020, 16:17

Festival Director Vacancy

We are looking for a creative, dynamic and hard-working person with a passion for poetry to take up the freelance role of Director of StAnza, Scotland’s annual international poetry festival, which is based in St Andrews.

Having been Festival Director since 2010, Eleanor Livingstone will be stepping down after the March 2021 Festival, and as director-designate you will be able to shadow her during the run-up and delivery of that festival, taking over on 1 April 2021.

To maintain StAnza’s high reputation in the poetry community nationally and internationally, you will need the ability to deliver high quality cultural programmes, considerable experience in cultural administration, and a flair for communicating with a wide range of artists (from emergent to renowned), audiences and stakeholders.

Reporting to                                              The Board of Trustees
Project Fee                                                £18,000
Period of Contract                                   One year, freelance, renewable subject to funding and   
Days per week                                          Averaging three days per week (dependent on funding);
                                                                    the nature of this position requires flexible working, particularly
                                                                    in November and around the lead-up to and period of the
Base                                                            Home-working will be necessary. Engagement with 
                                                                    committees and other staff will generally take place in St
                                                                    Andrews, with meetings also in Edinburgh and online.


For full details of the post and how to apply, see here.

Application deadline: 6 November 2020

Categories: News
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