Welcome on Board (pun intended)

Thursday 1 July 2021, 16:30
StAnza is thrilled to announce the appointment of four new Trustees to our Board, following a successful open-recruitment call. We also wish to take the chance to thank our outgoing trustees for many years of wonderful service to the festival.
StAnza co-founder Anna Crowe is amongst those departing, alongside Maureen Jack, Shona Munro, Kathryn Ross and Bob Steel. We cannot thank them enough for the energy, time and commitment they have provided over the years, and wish them well in whichever new ventures they become involved!
Yet while we are sad to see such stalwarts of StAnza go, we couldn't have been more pleased with the calibre of applicant we received, and to now welcome Lewis Camley, Marjorie Lotfi, Jane Feaver and Erin McElhinney to StAnza (a new treasurer will be appointed later this summer). As the biographies below illustrate, they bring a vast amount and range of collective and individual skills and experience, which we don't doubt will prove invaluable during exciting times of transition and change at StAnza, and as we look towards and beyond our 25th anniversary festival in 2022.
Welcome! Fàilte! Hailsin!

Lewis Camley

Lewis is a young professional with ten years’ experience working in arts organisations across Scotland, including The Byre Theatre in St Andrews, and in his current role of 5 years as the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Marketing Manager. At EIBF he contributed to the Festival’s successful digital pivot in 2020 by research, collaboration and initiating online engagement, drawing on his own interests as a digital native. Within the Marketing team he leads the community engagement work, which focuses on bringing arts events and opportunities to deprived areas of Scotland. A devotee of StAnza since his undergraduate days in St Andrews, Lewis says: ‘I admire StAnza’s approach to inclusive, international programming, its commitment to poets, and its deep connection to the local community as well as a global audience. I bring the expertise and energy to supplement and develop these aspects of the Festival.’


Dr Jane Feaver

During the 1990s Jane was Assistant Poetry Editor at Faber and Faber and maintains connections with several of the Estates of Faber poets. In 2001, she joined Farms for City Children in Devon. She was taken on initially to raise the £350-£400,000 needed each year, but after six months was promoted to Chief Executive, with continuing responsibility for fundraising and responsibility for about 60 staff. After 5 years she left to work on her writing, and was awarded a PhD from the University of Exeter, remaining a Trustee of FCC. She became a programmer of Dartmoor’s biennial literary festival, Chagword, which received grant funding from Arts Council England, regularly turning a profit. She has recently been a Trustee of Kneehigh Theatre, with special responsibility for equality and diversity. Now living in Edinburgh, and having recently published her fourth novel, Jane feels she ‘could make a committed contribution based on the experience I’ve had, in the literary world and as a Trustee on other charitable boards.’


Marjorie Lotfi

Marjorie is the co-founder, Development Director and Board Member of Open Book, a charity that works in community settings across Scotland, using literature to create human connections and amplify marginalized voices. She has proven experience leading third-sector organisations in the areas of strategy, development and delivery, building on a background in engagement and New York corporate law. A poet herself, she draws on personal experience of leaving Iran as a child to help others develop their own voices. She will be stepping down from her current role as Chair of the Wigtown Festival Company Board. Marjorie says that ‘in addition to attending StAnza as an audience member, I’ve read my own work as part of a showcase, been a poet on the TheoArtistry project, led a public writing workshop, run schools workshops several years, and brought our Open Book readers to events. I’ve been involved with StAnza in a variety of roles and am now keen to support its work’ by joining the Board.


Erin McElhinney

Erin is the CEO of Truffle Pig, a fundraising and organisational development consultancy. She has worked in the arts and third sector in Scotland for just over 20 years, holding a wide variety of roles – arts journalist; event producer; head of digital and marketing; literature officer with Creative Scotland and now fundraiser – across several artforms: performing arts, literature, theatre, film and digital. She has been an EDI advocate in her personal and professional life for many years, for instance working on the Glasgow Women’s Library on the Equality in Progress project. Erin also offers digital and professional fundraising experience to StAnza, and remarks that ‘Despite being perceived as “small”, the festival’s reach is impressive, with a commitment to using an international lens that brings enormous value to the poetry scene in Scotland; whilst the enthusiastic embracing of cross-artform projects is progressive and exciting.’

Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 403

Wednesday 30 June 2021, 16:55

stickleback inspector

tall reeds and sedges assemble
the loch unlades to its ally river
through rising, clinging mist

grey neck glimpsed by keen alert eyes
nearly hidden, but only nearly
statuesque in knee deep loch

peeking over long, spear like, neb
laser vision to the water
set to detect silver flashes

the imperceptible dip before the launch,
extension to a taller creature, water diamonds
sparkling, cascade back, to plenish the loch

shape shift from parasol to flapping cloak
a professor accentuating a point
casts a black shadow over the water

a flap, or two, maybe a glide
long legs trailing in flight
then undercarriage deployed

feet pushed forward, defence like,
articulated landing gear to the fore
settles by the opposite bank with nary a splosh

the stickleback inspector is changing her beat
stowing her cloak to parasol watch
stoic and Zen and Heron like

Ian McNeish

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 in the Garden with Jayne Wilding

Wednesday 30 June 2021, 16:52

We're thrilled to announce that our live 'Poetry in the Garden' reading, which had to be postponed in March has now been rescheduled for the end of July!

Poetry in the Garden with Jayne Wilding

Saturday 31 July, 2:30 – 3pm, free but ticketed

St Andrews Heritage Museum Garden (entrance via South Castle Street)

Headshot of Jayne Wilding, standing in front of a rock, wearing a wooly hatOver the course of the past 18 months, many of us have come to appreciate our relationship with the natural world more than ever. During this outdoor reading in the St Andrews Heritage Museum Gardens, we will hear from Jayne Wilding, a poet for whom this experience has been particularly keenly felt: 'Nature has wrapped her arms around me and held me throughout the past year. The gift of the pandemic has been to come into a deeper appreciation of the body and the healing power of nature. I will be reading poems celebrating this love affair with the natural world.'

Following the reading, we’ll also be raising our keep-cups and water bottles to StAnza’s outgoing director, Eleanor Livingstone!

Do come dressed for the weather, and be considerate of social distancing guidelines. Tickets are available here.


Jayne Wilding is a poet, writer and yoga teacher who lives and writes in the East Neuk of Fife. Her parents were mountaineers and as a child she spent time a good deal of time in the mountains. She is passionate about the healing power of the elements and nature. Her collection In the Moon’s Pantry was published by diehard Press in 2004; her pamphlet sky blue notebook from the Pyrenees was joint runner-up for the 2009 Callum Macdonald Poetry Award.

This event is supported by the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature fund.

This event depends on government regulations and guidance in force on 31 July. It will be delivered in association with venues or partners who are committed to being fully Covid-19 safe and Covid-19 compliant. All audience members should observe and comply with appropriate social distancing and other hygiene precautions. However, and notwithstanding the foregoing, participation undertaken by participants and audience members at their own risk. StAnza cannot accept any liability in respect of Covid-19 safely compliance by participants, members of the public or others or any incidence of infection amongst those choosing to participate in or engage with StAnza events.


Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 402

Monday 28 June 2021, 17:00


Dusk falls sudden over Doune
A garden shed, house-high antennae,
catching the fly-by of short-wave.
Cocoa and call signs; the world is talking,
and this glow of a shed responding.
Crammed village, the draggle of a castle
so ruined its stones were not worth looting.
The wealth stilled, pooling here:
a gunshop, its finest worked metals,
stocks sanded to the scalloped shoulder.  

Michael Murray

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. 401

Friday 25 June 2021, 17:03

Normal Service Is Resumed
(12th June 2020)

MacCallum’s fishing boat is out again
trawling Ayr Bay
for the Catch of the Day
to be chalked on the board
in the Wee Hurrie takeaway,
which last Thursday re-opened its door
against the prevailing conditions
of Covid-19 and a strong sou’wester,
and if anyone knows about the patience of queueing
it is the customers of the Wee Hurrie,
who come from all over West Scotland
to queue for their suppers
fried fresh to order. 


For twenty, thirty, forty minutes
they stand in a socially-distanced line
from the door, on pairs of yellow feet
painted on the concrete,
past the Oyster Bar
along the harbour that’s packing in braces
of furloughed fishing boats
patrolled by Grey Seals
with their dog-like faces,
who eye the daily queue then
disappear, arcing a sleek dark back
into dependable waters,
and pop up next to the ice factory,
the RNLI Trent-class lifeboat,
or in a corner of nestling trawlers -
to the delight of folk
who’ve been waiting so long
for their favourite fish suppers. 

Beag Horn

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. 400

Tuesday 22 June 2021, 16:36

Return to Stranraer

Long before seatbelts were a thing
we made the annual trek
up the West Coast to Stranraer,
its stony face nestled on the cliff edge
as if the very bones of it may crumble.

We camped within Aunt Stella’s walls,
the graveyard clearly eavesdropping
on ghoulish tales told by torchlight
while Lock Ryan hissed and roared
his disapproval, sharp as Stella’s eye.

Mostly, I remember rain, insistent,
drumming on canvas like an intruder
dressed in gabardine grey,
his spit and spat grumbling
at ankle socks and summer frocks,

at giggles of tourists spilt across Toon,
dining on harbour and Galloway charm
while The North West Castle,
perched on high, nodded sagely,
arms laden with tattie scones.

These days I meander up by train,
enthralled by rugged, coastal path.
I check in, take in the litter now
replacing a town’s fading smile,
place petals in Stella’s Kirk, return.

Kate Young

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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