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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 stanza@stanzapoetry.org.

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

Poem Map of Scotland: poem no. 348

Wednesday 5 August 2020, 12:20

Traversing The Horns Of Torridon

Given the gravity of the situation,
pausing before walking along
this ledge above a precipice
would have made sense.

Rest for a moment;
realise that, once started,
it’s already too late
to retrace steps.

Falling is more than possible
given our propensity
to become inattentive
when facing risk;

accept that one stumble
is one too many and task
feet to diligently follow
patterns just finished,

mask the consequences
of losing concentration;
one true step on the
one true path,

balancing threats
of disaster
with expectations
of success.

Another instant
and the next spent
straight as a die,
soon we’ll be smiling

at the view waiting
to charm us on
the farther side
of this chasm

between hope and regret,
overlooking how it felt
a lifetime was spent
holding your breath

along this barely-etched
contour line
before reaching
momentary calm.

“We shouldn’t be here,”
is the thought to avoid
while negotiating
emptiness.

For the present, continue
deliberate and slow,

one true moment
and the next.

Calmly marching
with the sky
above us.
And below.

Jeffrey Kemp

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

Poem Map of Scotland: poem no. 347

Wednesday 5 August 2020, 12:16

This Summer

I'm going to walk with the Ramblers, traverse
footpaths inked onto Ordnance Survey maps
by unknown cartographers. From the terse
calligraphy of contour lines perhaps
I'll glean a sense of recognition, feel
that here, beneath my walking boots, at last,
this heather, peat and granite—all is real,
my future thus connected to the past.

I've planned four walks, and all to parts unknown
except for the last that ends in Dunbar
where I've been before, teenaged and alone,
and watched the night fishing fleet from afar,
bright lights strung from the masts—forming a great
constellation by which to navigate.

Su Brown

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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