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DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: The Air Year

Friday 19 February 2021, 11:45

The Air Year is Caroline Bird’s sixth collection with Carcanet. Her most recent and highly successful, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award. Bird, who published her first collection at the age of 15, displays an astonishing talent and a unique ‘voice’, and is known for her engaging and witty performance.

The opening poem, ‘Mid-Air’, has an atmosphere of lightness, eroticism and optimism, but this buoyancy is quickly dispelled in the poems that follow. Bird uses thrillingly surreal narratives, as in ‘Nancy and the Torpedo’, where strong sexual imagery meets a Babes-in-the-Woods fairy-tale atmosphere. This is Bird at her most idiosyncratic style; juxtaposing surreal encounters with interior emotions that speak to the reader in new and startling ways....

This is an excerpt of a review by Jenny Gorrod of Caroline Bird's Forward Prize winning, The Air YearFor more information on Bird at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News

DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: The Saints Are Coming

Friday 19 February 2021, 11:35

... it’s with delight that I have in my hands, Andy Jackson’s third published collection of poetry, The Saints Are Coming, his first with Blue Diode Press. This title treats readers to a shining hagiography of saints for this anthropocenic age who, with due diligence, watch over the livingness of poets, radiographers, lottery winners, thieves, radicals, embroiderers, haemorrhoid sufferers, gamblers et al. 

Observe as prosecutors
rearrange denials into damnations,
transmute honesty into culpability […]

(‘The Catechism of St. Catherine of Alexandria Patron saint of jurors‘)

These saintly characters cast in malleable forms, sometimes enacting the ludic virtue of a Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in ‘watching as I die my thousand/deaths, still clinging to my shtick’ (‘The Martyrdom of St Lawrence Patron saint of comedians‘) while at other times the gravitas of a rebel drama, are resolute in their capture of the tones and cadences of their patronage.... 

This is an excerpt of a review on the DURA website by William Hume of Andy Jackson's The Saints Are ComingFor more information on Jackson at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 377

Wednesday 17 February 2021, 13:01

Port Seton Snake

The children brought pebbles first,
painted on a rainy day
when lockdown seemed unreal.
Over time it became routine.
Family members all brought stones -
Hello! For Grandma Bet, save our NHS!
Poppies and words of hope, anger.
Distress.
And the line grew, until a pretty snake
wound along the street and the first
ones placed, months before, began
to flake and fade.
Hell  For G et,.  save  u S
Poppies washed away.
What scares me? They are merely
stones along a road.
Children's daubed rainbows
a winding shrine to the dead.

Sadie Maskery

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: poem no. 376

Monday 15 February 2021, 16:54

Resurfacing

Only a moment underground,
feet on rubble, phone torch illuminating
chamber—broken glass, Sex Pistols graffito,
swastika—is long enough
before I grasp rusty ladder,
scrabble up to a welcome
from May sunshine,
fat lambs and orange gorse.

Craig Aitchison

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

Take part in our Open Mics or Slam this year!

Sunday 14 February 2021, 19:02

We’ll have two Open Mic events next month plus our usual slam. The first Open Mic session will be in a break-out room at the opening night party, after the formal launch event on Saturday 6 March, starting at 8pm. Then on Friday 12 March at 9pm, our regular Risk a Verse Open Mic is in partnership with St Mungo’s Mirrorball. We look forward to hearing some of the Mirrorballers reading then, but there are plenty more open slots for anyone else who would like to read then. To sign up for a reading slot, just email stanza@stanzapoetry.org with either Opening Night Open Mic, or Friday Risk a Verse Open Mic in the subject line with your name and email address. And whether you want to read or just enjoy hearing the poems and chat, you can book a free ticket with the Zoom link at our online Box Office.

The StAnza Slam will be on Saturday at 9pm, and even though it will start a bit earlier than usual this year, as we’ll all be joining from home, we decided to take the chance to give it a sleepover theme. So, feel free to dress in a onesie or dressing gown, and to have a mug of cocoa if you like.

If you’d like to take part in the Slam, there are still some places left so email stanza@stanzapoetry.org with Slam in the subject line, and with your name, email address, and phone number. And again, whether you’d like to take part or just to be in the audience, you can book a ticket to get the Zoom link from our online Box Office.

And full information about the Festival Café on Zoom opening hours is available on our website at https://stanzapoetry.org/festival/events/festival-cafe-zoom.  

 

 

Categories: News

DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: Rendang

Sunday 14 February 2021, 18:34

Will Harris’ debut collection explores a range of issues many of which circle around belonging and ancestry, of finding a voice to bridge the faultlines of cultural and personal identity (Harris has Chinese-Indonesian-British ancestry).  It opens with rootlessness but Harris’ distinctive response is to pose the challenge of such fractures as one of poetics. Reassemblage, pursued initially through Derek Walcott’s broken pottery metaphor is posed as a question, not an answer: ‘That can’t be taken; granted’ (‘State-Building’), the semi-colon positioned between words holds different reading possibilities.... The collection as a whole shuttles between real and imagined states, between locations (Indonesia, Turkey, Illionois, London among others), and betwixt high and popular in a way that disrupts conventionalised hierarchies; in traversing ruptures, Harris shows a striking ability to ‘complex stitch’ tableaux, situations, textual fragments and allusions seamlessly.... 

This is an excerpt of a review on the DURA website by Gail Low of Will Harris' Rendang. For more information on Harris at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News
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