StAnza 2015 Afterword

“StAnza itself is a magnificent creation ... a world of big names and big gestures, of centre-stage events, but also a world where amazing things take place in the nooks and crannies. It’s no wonder then that the plaudits roll in…”   
(Bill Manhire)

StAnza officially came of age in 2015, and we partied in the eighteenth year of the festival in style. The opening night was just one case in point, with audience members mingling – and dancing! – with Dylan Thomas and ee cummings on the stage of the Byre Theatre. Over the following four days more than a hundred poets, artists and musicians filled the streets and stages of St Andrews. 

From intimate readings in the Fraser Gallery via a lyrical journey with Ryan van Winkle and Dan Gorman in the confines of the Byre’s Box to poetry coasters in cafes throughout the town: we endeavoured to fill every nook of the town with poetry – and we think we came close to succeeding… (Reports that reworking poems became a topic discussed in the ladies’ toilets certainly gave us the sense of a task well done!) And in case good food, good company and good poetry became too much for anyone, we were delighted to have the Emergency Poet on hand, with all kinds of rhyming remedies.

The success of the festival can perhaps be judged the fact that everyone had their own favourites – but a few of these might include: Carolyn Forché’s moving reading of her poetry of witness; Toby Campion’s glorious lambasting of train announcements in our opening Poetry Café of the festival; and Kei Miller’s lively performance at our Saturday Poetry Centre Stage. And that’s without mentioning the wealth of exhibitions, workshops, digital installations…

We’re thrilled to be able to present a gallery of photographs to recapture the atmosphere of the festival. (Thanks to our wonderful team of photographers for this!) And there are also links to reviews and more – as well as the text of Glyn Maxwell’s witty ode to the stanza (yes, stanza, not StAnza!) from the festival’s annual lecture. Whether these bring back favourite memories or give you a taste of the festival for next year, we hope you enjoy!

2015 Gallery

2015 Videos, Podcasts and Installation PDFs

StAnza 2015 opening night video by Alistair Kerr

Podcast of Alice Notley Round Table In Conversation event

PDF version of digital installation An Archipelago of Poems

PDF version of digital installation Bridging the Time Divide

2015 Lecture

PDF icon The Stanza, by Glyn Maxwell.pdf [PDF]

2015 Reviews and Interviews

Some of the online articles and blogs:

The inspiring StAnza poetry festival: The Scotsman review by Susan Mansfield

Review of StAnza 2015: Scotsman review by Susan Mansfield

Why we need more poetry events like StAnza, by Charlotte Runcie in The List

Kei Miller comes home, by Charlotte Runcie in The List

StAnza 2015 – Simon Armitage, one of Britain’s best, by Charlotte Runcie in The List

StAnza 2015 – Helen Mort, by Charlotte Runcie in The List

StAnza 2015: Mothers Day – why we need more great writing about being a mother,by Charlotte Runcie, The List

The Ferocity of Festivals by Helena Nelson

Article about StAnza in Best American Poetry

StAnza – inhabiting poetry, by Fiona Moore, Displacement

StAnza – Rising waters from Faroes to Brittany, by Fiona Moore, Displacement

StAnza: Celan and the Holocaust and Different Trains; Shotover, by Fiona Moore, Displacement

StAnza – island poets, by Fiona Moore, Displacement

In praise of StAnza & Carolyn Forche, by Fiona Moore, Displacement

StAnza, Scotland’s most chilled out festival, by Susanne Arbuckle, Adventures Around Scotland

StAnza 2015: a weekend in St Andrews photoblog, by Susanne Arbuckle, Adventures Around Scotland

First Timers Guide to StAnza, by Susanne Arbuckle, Adventures Around Scotland

StAnza Poetry Cafe with Owen O’Neill, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza Poetry Cafe with Erin Fornoff, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza Body Searches, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza Border Crossing, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza Poetry Cafe with Torok & Campion, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza 2015, by Elizabeth Rimmer, Burned Thumb

StAnza 2015, by Colin Will, Sunny Dunny

StAnza 2015 >erasure ii, the FCA&C blog

StAnza 2015, by Sarah Hymas

StAnza 2015 in storify

StAnza turns 18 & contemplates morality

An Archipelago of Poetry

The Unfinished Business of a poet in residence, by Clare Mulley

A young blogger at StAnza

The Citizen: Festival Preview, 21 February 2015

The Citizen, 13 March 2015

The Courier: StAnza Preview, January 2015

The Courier: Chapter & Verse at StAnza, 9 March 2015

The Skinny: StAnza Comes of Age

StAnza 2015 Information

StAnza 2015 took place from 4-8 March, 2015

2015 Festival Themes

Each festival focuses on two themes which weave around each other to give every StAnza its own unique flavour.

Our themes for StAnza 2015 were Unfinished Business, and an Archipelago of Poetry.

In the first, mindful of the famous Valéry quote that ‘a poem is never finished…’, we focused on poetry as a creative process, including editing, translation, collection, selection and collaboration in traditional and experimental poetics, as well as poetry engaged with the unfinished business of daily life.

For our second theme we embraced poetry which is coastal, tidal and ‘insular’, while also considering how as poets and festivals or organisations, we exist not only as individual islands, but rather as part of an Archipelago of Poetry.

2015 Headline Poets

Simon Armitage
Christine De Luca
Ian Duhig
Paul Durcan
Carolyn Forché
Ilya Kaminsky
Bill Manhire
Glyn Maxwell
Kei Miller
Sinéad Morrissey
Alice Notley
Sheenagh Pugh
Anne Stevenson

2015 Participants

Josep Lluís Aguiló
Elaine Allison
Deborah Alma
Simon Armitage
Janette Ayachi
Margaret Bathgate
Dr Jamie Reid Baxter
The Bedazzled Company
Liz Berry
Black Cat Jook Band
Patricia Bray
Carly Brown
Sam Buchan-Watts
James Byrne
Karen Cairns
Gerry Cambridge
Stuart B. Campbell
Toby Campion
Robert Chandler
Kyra Clegg
Anna Crowe
Simon Currie
Peter Daniels
Claudia Daventry
Christine De Luca
John Dennison
David Drake
Boris Dralyuk
Ian Duhig
Paul Durcan
The Edinburgh Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra (EMGO)
Jenny Elliott
Gerrie Fellows
Film Makers
The Flatcaps
Carolyn Forché
Erin Fornoff
Hazel Frew
Gillian Gamble
Chrissie Gittins
Dan Gorman
Stephanie Green
Ben Gwalchmai
Mandy Haggith
Alexander Hutchison
Sarah Hymas
Andy Jackson
Carolyn Jess-Cooke
Lucy Jones
Robin Jones
Ilya Kaminsky
Susan Kemp
James Knox Whittet
Michiel Koelink
Bas Kwakman
Kirsty Law
Steve Lewis
Katherine Lockton
Pàdraig MacAoidh
Bill Manhire
Kathryn Maris
Glyn Maxwell
Shara McCallum
Elvis McGonagall
Hollie McNish
David McOmish
Allison McVety
Kei Miller
Kim Moore
Sinéad Morrissey
Helen Mort
Clare Mulley
Kenny Munro
Karthika Naïr
Alice Notley
Owen O'Neill
Chris Park
Sandeep Parmar
Past Poets 2015
Heather Phillipson
Carlo Pirozzi
Tom Pow
D.A. Prince
Sheenagh Pugh
Kevin Reid
Lorna Reid
Jon Ståle Ritland
Clive Russell
Anna Cristina Serra
Martin Glaz Serup
Kim Simonsen
Ian Stephen
Anne Stevenson
N.S. Thompson
Agnes Török
Claire Trévien
Robin Vaughan-Williams
The Viridian Quartet
Mark Waldron
Ahren Warner
Richard Watt
JL Williams
Susan Wilson

Funding for 2015

StAnza 2015 was funded by Creative Scotland, Fife Council and EventScotland.