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

Book Week Scotland

Thursday 15 October 2020, 09:45

The evenings are drawing in and the nights are getting longer, which can only mean one thing: Book Week Scotland is almost upon us! This year the annual celebration of books and reading takes place from 16 - 22 November, and here at StAnza we've commissioned a rather special project to mark the occasion.

THIS is an interactive poetry reading, created by Steve Smart and Rebecca Sharp and formed around Rebecca Sharp’s original poem of the same name. Bringing poetry together with sound, visual art and digital media, the work playfully asks what the reader brings to the experience of reading and what they receive in return.

THIS is a piece of exploration, of curiosity and of hope – but it’s also a piece which holds back from offering solid ‘answers’. At the end of a year of uncertainty, THIS reminds readers that not knowing is OK, and that we’re all doing the same, underneath the skin of things. The piece playfully demonstrates the ability of poetry to present intricate and elusive ideas, images and feelings for interaction and transformative experience.

You can access THIS here, just scroll down to the 'About THIS' section, and click on 'Begin THIS'.

If your curiousity is whetted, then don't miss our Meet the Artists event with Steve and Rebecca on Saturday 21 November from 16:00 to 16:45. Join us hear readings from Rebecca and Steve, including the piece which THIS is built around, as well as to learn more about their collaboration and how the installation came to be.  To attend the Meet the Artist, which will take place by Zoom, please email

Meantime, happy reading!

Categories: News

Happy National Poetry Day with news of StAnza 2021

Thursday 1 October 2020, 10:41

Happy National Poetry Day!

(c) Michael Macari

The cultural sector has been hit extremely hard by Covid-19 so we're delighted to be sharing some good news today. We have been successful in obtaining sufficient core funding to go ahead with plans for a hybrid festival in March 2021. While we'll be sorry not to see your faces in the Byre, given the constraints Covid places on event organising and travel, as well as the economic impact of the pandemic, we’re not only very pleased to be able to plan a festival, but excited about the possibilities and opportunities which a hybrid festival offers.

StAnza 2021 will take place from 10 to 14 March offering a dynamic mix of audio and digital, live-streamed, virtual and pre-recorded events. As ever we’ll work to two themes, fittingly ‘Make It New’; and some light verse with ‘No Rhyme nor Reason’, because we all need a reason to laugh; and as 2021 is the 30th anniversary of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, our translated language focus, ‘Beyond the Iron Curtain’, will be on languages from the former Eastern bloc.

The new format festival will still include traditional StAnza favourites such as readings and round table events, but we also plan new events capturing the full potential of the digital realm, including interactive poetry installations, ‘At Home’ events with poets and an enhanced filmpoem and sound poem programme. We are also working on a series of events which can be enjoyed by those with little or no access to the internet. We hope to be able to offer a few live outdoor events, though this will depend on what happens about Covid and regulations for events; we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed, but also prepared for everything to be delivered online if need be.

Throughout the pandemic, people have turned to poetry as a way of dealing with these unusual circumstances, illustrating the impact poetry has on our wellbeing and emotional lives. StAnza 2021 will celebrate this profound relevance showcasing a wide range of poetry, 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. We are also well aware that a festival has to be more than the sum of its events, that a community is created around each festival, and we will do our very best to ensure that we manage that next March, albeit in different ways. We really hope you’ll join us on this journey towards a differently rewarding festival experience.

And as this is National Poetry Day, we'd like to offer you a poem. Here is one we came across recently, by a Latvian poet Knuts Skujenieks. This link is to the Lyrikline website, where you can find this and many more poems to read and listen to.

A Word Without a Word, by Knuts Skujenieks, translated by Margita Gailītis

Happy National Poetry Day!

Categories: News

Top Tips from Top Poets

Monday 10 August 2020, 13:16

We asked eight poets from this year's festival for their top tip for writing good poems. The variety of ways in how they approached this, both in terms of the advice they gave and how they gave it, has delighted and impressed us. We've been sharing these as they came in over the past couple of months but now we've collated them together to share with you here.

Anthony Anaxagorou

Gerry Cambridge

Joelle Taylor

Jen Hadfield

John Glenday

Shehzar Doja

Mhairi Owens

Deborah Moffatt

PDF icon Top Tip, by Deborah Moffatt.pdf

Categories: News, Digital

Poem Map of Scotland: poem no. 349

Wednesday 5 August 2020, 12:25

one evening on a peninsula


peat smoke forms by a silversmith

on a shoreline of scarlet


fading to a purpled horizon

blue hues envelop and harmonise


softly beyond the Sound of Sleat

looking over to the lighthouse


we will walk back along warm sand

holding shoes in our other hand


Neil Thomson


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
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