The pick of festival poetry events in Edinburgh this week

Thursday 25 August 2011, 00:01

There may be rain and a nip of autumn chill in the morning air - but the festival season is still in full swing and there is more poetry to look forward to all around the city. Here are some highlights…The School of Poets is holding its well-known Courtyard Readings outside the Scottish Poetry Library every day at 2pm (until Saturday 27th)…At the Fruitmarket Gallery on Thursday 25th, meet the Gutter Poets, who all appear in the magazine of that name. The line up includes StAnza’s own Jim Carruth, Colin Herd and Graham Fulton….Roll up to Charlotte Square on Saturday 27th to hear Robert Bringhurst and David Harsent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Categories: News

Residency opportunity with the Wordsworth Trust

Wednesday 24 August 2011, 19:28

The Wordsworth Trust are looking for a poet to take up their much-lauded residency at Grasmere, Cumbria where Wordsworth himself lived and wrote. Previous incumbents include Owen Sheers, Helen Farish, Paul Farley, John Hartley Williams, Bill Herbert. The closing date for applications is 4pm, 2 September. Full details are available at the Wordsworth Trust website

Categories: News

Free tickets for poetry at the Edinburgh Book Festival

Thursday 11 August 2011, 12:13

StAnza friends:

The lovely people at Edinburgh International Book Festival are offering two pairs of tickets FREE for one of their poetry events, Poems from Small Islands, on Sunday, 14th August. Details for the event are here. (

To win the draw, email StAnza on with your full name, address, email address and telephone number. The first two entries to arrive before the closing time and date, 12 noon, Saturday 13 August, will receive the tickets. Good luck!

Categories: News

No Sleep in Bristo

Wednesday 3 August 2011, 10:07

George Szirtes at StAnza's 100's Poets event (photo, Charlotte Hailstones)

As far as we know, StAnza's record from 2007 of 103 poets reading in one day-long event still stands. People often reminisce about that day, the poems for which - including a burnt fragment of Alastair Reid's Scotland, which he read and then set alight as the finale - were captured in our Skein of Geese anthology. 

Possibly inspired by this, StAnza favourite Kevin Cadwallander will attempt to set his own record for a Marathon reading of poetry and spoken word in Edinburgh next week during the festival season - he's hoping to have around 100 poets each reading for 15 minutes in an event which will run from 10.00 am until 7.00 pm, then again from 10.00 pm to  midnight on Thursday 11th August, and then again on Friday 12th August from midnight to 3.00 am, and then 8.00 am until 7.00 pm, all to take place at the Forest Cafe in Edinburgh.

Kevin is asking any poets or flash fictioneers who'd like to take part to email him on  A whole load of poets reading for hours on end - what more fun can an Edinburgh festival season offer?  Good luck to Kevin, and here's hoping a lot of poets sign up.

Kevin Cadwallender at StAnza (photo, Al Buntin)

Categories: News

Vote for the Scottish Book of the Year Award

Wednesday 27 July 2011, 22:25

There is still time to cast your vote for the Scottish Book of the Year Award: the public poll closes on Sunday, 31 July.  Sponsored by the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, this prize is awarded to one of four writers, each of whom is already a winner in their category. This year’s shortlist comprises Leila Aboulela (Fiction) for Lyrics Alley; Sue Peebles (First Book) for The Death of Lomond Friel; Stewart Conn (Poetry) for his collection The Breakfast Room and poet Jackie Kay (Literary Non-Fiction) for her memoir Red Dust Road. For more information about the shortlist and how to cast your vote, click here

The awards ceremony hosted by BBC Radio 4 presenter, Jenni Murray, will take place at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 26 August.

The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Awards are held in partnership with Creative Scotland.

Categories: News

Philip Gross wins major children's poetry award

Wednesday 13 July 2011, 22:10

Congratulations to Philip Gross (left) who has won the  CLPE Poetry Award — the UK's premier award for children's poetry — for his volume of selected poems for children, Off Road to Everywhere, which was illustrated by his son, Jonathan Gross. Philip’s event for children, based on the book, was one of the highlights of StAnza 2011 and complemented his evening Poetry Centre Stage reading for adults. The poet won the T.S. Eliot Prize last year for his collection The Water Table, and also received the Wales Book of the Year award for another work, I Spy Pinhole Eye.

The CLPE Poetry Award (the letters stand for Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) honours excellence in poetry written for children. Previous winners include the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy (who assisted with this years' judging), Jackie Kay, Roger McGough, Fiona Waters, Grace Nichols and John Agard.

Listen to Philip talking about his work in this Scottish Poetry Library Reading Room podcast which was recorded at StAnza in March. And read Susan Mansfield’s interview with him, published in The Scotsman prior to the festival.

Photograph: Stephen Morris

Categories: News
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