The SPL at StAnza 2013: Sally Crabtree and Robert Şerban

Saturday 5 October 2013, 19:25

Ryan Van Winkle presents more highlights from StAnza 2013, featuring performance artist and poet Sally Crabtree (aka the Poetry Postie) and Romanian poet and TV presenter Robert Şerban.

A Scottish Poetry Library podcast, produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser productions.

Categories: Digital

Meet Erin Fornoff, Digital Slam winner

Wednesday 25 September 2013, 18:50

We are handing this blog space over to the winner of our Digital Slam, Dublin based American poet, Erin Fornoff. Check out her winning StAnza Digital Slam performance here.

In this post, Erin tells us a little about her background, her favourite poets and what she's doing performance wise in the lively poetry and spoken work scene across the Irish Sea.

I am from Asheville, North Carolina, a hippie town in the middle of the Bible Belt of the Appalachian Mountains--the prettiest place on earth! I work for a charity doing social entrepreneurship, and spend my days talking to social visionaries about how they are changing the world and how they got to be the way they are--a privilege. I have lived in Dublin for the past four and a half years.

I came from a creative family and read constantly but was always more focused on visual art. When I was in college, I did nothing artistic, but I got to be friends with a gang that was writing a thousand lines of poetry for their senior thesis. The group also went to a local dive bar every Thursday after class for pitchers of beer with the professor. I'd join them sometimes (the pitchers were free), I loved all the artistic chatter, and started wondering if I could write poems too. I decided to try and write one. I worked on it for ages--about whitewashing a house, badly, during a brief sojourn in Spain--and submitted it to the University literary journal's poetry contest. I was floored when it won first prize! Baffling to me now, I didn't write one again for years and years until I moved to Dublin and was swept up in the thriving literary scene here, my favorite part of which is performance based. I found a home and a crew and an endless source of inspiration in the basement bars and festival tents where poetry comes alive in a different way. I found some great friends who were extremely supportive, got me on stage and clapped after, and I will never forget it.

My favorite poets and influences are too many to mention--Mary Oliver and her journeys and wild geese was an early first love; and Philip Levine with his poems about eating potatoes with butter and salt and "Can you taste what I am saying?";  and Richard Wilbur and his daughter and how he "hoped everything I hoped for her before, but harder"; Billy Collins and the sheep and the Gutenberg Bible; Gerald Manley Hopkins and his "heart in hiding/stirred for a bird"; Hafiz and casting all his votes for dancing; Langston Hughes and jazz like a hypodermic needle; Emily Dickinson's "If your nerve, Deny you/ Go above your nerve"; and Yeats and his romantic Ireland (or lack thereof). Others include Goodie Mob, the hip hop poets of the Dirty South, my mates Colm Keegan, John Cummins, Kalle Ryan, Stephen James Smith, and those astonishing English musical hybrids Kate Tempest and Dizraeli.

Upcoming I have a few gigs, I'm doing one end of October at Farmleigh House where the Queen stayed when she was here, with my Glastonbury friend Hollie McNish and another friend, Hozier, who's a rising soul/blue singer, hosted by Peter Sheridan, their Writer In Residence, a playwright and author who became a friend and mentor after he vanquished me in the finals of Literary Death Match. Very excited about that one, partially because it's not a place with a lot of spoken word and hopefully we can shake it up!,25003,en.html

I'm also curating "Righteous Verse," a group of some poets performing at a festival called Fading Light in Kerry in the October bank holiday--a small thing that takes over all the pubs in a whole little village in Caherdaniel, the far southwest of Ireland.

Finally, I'm working with a group of performance and page poets, all mates, and we're organizing Dublin's first spoken word festival, called Lingo, next spring. No official date set but one coming soon!

Erin Fornoff

View more of Erin's poetry at

Categories: News, Digital

2013 Digital Slam: The Results

Sunday 11 August 2013, 16:52

Thanks again to everyone who took part and/or voted in our 2013 Digital Slam! It was a strong shortlist, and the voting has been really close all week. But at last the votes have been counted etc, and we can announce:

In fifth place: Steve Smart

In fourth place: Chris Young

In third place: Janette Ayachi

In second place: Jim Monaghan

And the WINNER of our 2013 Digital Slam is: Erin Fornoff

Congratulations to Erin! Look out for a special blog about her in a week or so. In the meantime, here's the winning performance:

Categories: News, Digital

2013 Digital Slam: Shortlist and Voting

Saturday 3 August 2013, 07:40

Thanks to everyone who took part this year's Digital Slam! We had lots of great entries come in, and the judges had a tricky time whittling them down to a final ten. But whittle down they did.

And so, we are delighted to present this year's shortlist . . .

The poems/performances are listed in alphabetical order. Scroll down, click 'play', and feast your eyes/ears.

And don't forget, once you've done that, click on our voting widget to register your support for your favourite poet/spoken word artist.

The voting is open from now till 5pm (BST) Sunday 11 August.

One vote per person. But if you've already voted, spread the word . . .

We'll announce the winner soon after voting closes on the 11th.

1. Janette Ayachi, The Black Tapestry Of Amy Winehouse

2. Erin Fornoff, August in New Orleans

3. Piers Harrison-Reid, FuriousBirds

4. Rowan James, Norwich Road

5. Marie Marshall (reading by Dani Adomaitis), O great maritime bears

6. Jim Monaghan, Lies about Iraq

7. Tracey S. Rosenberg, The Final Heist

The Final Heist (StAnza digital slam 2013) from Tracey S. Rosenberg on Vimeo.

8. Steve Smart, Smith Corona Fugue

9. Catherine Woodward, A Waitress to a Chinese Customer

10. Chris Young, Choose Me


Categories: News, Digital

StAnza’s 2013 Digital Slam now open for entries

Friday 19 July 2013, 10:59



At last, the wait is over . . . and our 2013 Digital Slam is now open for entries!

What you’ll need to enter is a new or recent video or audio performance of one of your poems or spoken word pieces which you have uploaded onto YouTube, Vimeo, PodOmatic, SoundCloud or other online platform (please note: this has to be a platform which generates code for embedded media players).

Once you’ve picked out the poem/performance you want to submit, grab the URL and send it to: [...]

If you could also let us know where you live (town/city), that’d be great, and if you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to include your Twitter name so we can find you on there.


One poem/performance per person.

Your poem/performance should last no more than 3 minutes, and should have been recorded within the last 18 months.

Material submitted for last year’s Digital Slam cannot be submitted again.

We’ll be open for entries until 12 noon (BST) Friday 26 July. Entries sent later than 12 noon next Friday will not go through for shortlisting.


After submissions close, our panel of judges will pick a shortlist, and this will go up on our blog on Friday 2 August (all the shortlisted entries will be embedded into the blog page, hence we’ll need those embed codes).

Voting will begin once the shortlist is published, and will close at 5pm (BST) on Sunday 11 August.

We’ll announce the winner soon after that. Later in the month we’ll publish a blog about the winner, featuring their winning performance, plus another audio/video clip of their choice.

And that’s it.

And as always, follow us on Twitter – @StAnzaPoetry and/or #DigitalSlam – and/or like our Facebook page for more news and updates.

Categories: News, Digital

Culture Laser at StAnza 2013: Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl

Monday 15 July 2013, 19:23

Culture Laser's Ryan Van Winkle catches up with Icelandic poet, novelist and translator Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl at StAnza 2013.

A Culture Laser podcast, produced by Colin Fraser.

Categories: Digital