2019 Afterword

Photo: Sandie Dodds

A remarkable thing about StAnza is the way in which each festival is shaped as much by many of the events which you somehow miss as those which you see. Each year in advance of the festival, we can be found geeking out over the programme. ‘Jacqueline Saphra on Edna St Vincent Millay!’ you’ll hear us cry. ‘Romanian filmpoems! A. E. Stallings reading in the main theatre!’ Each year we tell ourselves that this year we’ll somehow manage to slip into all these events. And of course, each year when the time comes, a train is delayed or the all-important pies are arriving and the minutes slip by until we hear the audience leaving the event, excitedly commenting on Ishion Hutchinson’s remarks on the self in poetry or the presences and absences conjured by Mary Jean Chan.

The amazing thing, though, is the way that these events then permeate the festival. Like a pebble in a pond, each event casts ripples which grow ever wider, until they meet other ripples and join them to become something new and other and exciting. A conversation grows between poets, audiences and – indeed – events, so that you don’t need to have been to Nadine Aisha Jassat’s Story Café to join a discussion about the often disregarded history of Scottish female poets of colour.

This was perhaps particularly apt this year, when StAnza was part of A Year of Conversation, celebrating and exploring the power of dialogue in what can often feel like an increasingly fractured world. The conversations at StAnza this year were many and varied. Our collaboration with Magma’s Climate Change issue, for example, invited thoughts, poems and discussions which are still unnervingly prescient, including in a fascinating Poetry Breakfast on the theme of Another Place, asking how poetry can be ecological and political.

We also brought poetry Off the Page in one of our festival theme’s this year this year, perhaps most joyfully in HappenStance’s fantastic flashmob performance of The Jumblies, as well as our finale featuring the words and music of Edward Lear, which sent more than one of us home to dig out those old books of nonsense verse. Poetry was also brought out of books and around town, with Arne Rautenberg’s stunning visual poetry window stickers as well as in an intimate and evolving installation by Luke Pell, Lucy Cash and George Mario Angel Quintero.

Four months after the festival, we're still having joyful, thoughtful, surprising conversations sparked by moments and poems at StAnza 2019. The ripples continue to spread. As ever, a huge vote of thanks go to our talented poets and artists, our dedicated volunteers and our remarkable audiences – without whom this wouldn’t be a conversation at all.


StAnza 2019 was shortlisted for Outstanding Festival in The Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2019; and in the Scottish Arts, Culture and Sport category in the PRide Awards 2019.

StAnza 2019 : 6 - 10 March : Gallery

Photos of poets and others taking part in StAnza 2019 and some of our favourite venue or atmosphere shots of St Andrews


Poetry review: StAnza 2019 (The Scotsman: Susan Mansfield)

StAnza Poetry Festival Highlights (The Scotsman)

StAnza 2019: 'Poetry will not change or save the world but it will always be on the side of resistance to hate' (The List)

StAnza: International poets and voices converge on scenic Scottish shores (The List)

Programme announced for St Andrews poetry festival StAnza (Fife Today)

An Interview with Ben Norris (The Mumble)

Festival programme announced for StAnza 2019 (Scottish Field)

Island poets to take part in StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival (Stornoway Gazette)

Magma at StAnza (Magma Poetry)

StAnza 2019 II (Magma Poetry)  

StAnza 2019 (The Mumble)

Border Crossings (The Mumble)

Archers star Ben Norris to compere slam at StAnza festival (Write Out Loud)

International Women's Day 2019 Events Round-up: StAnza 2019 (The Skinny)

StAnza Schools (Ken Cockburn) 

From Pottery to Poetry: StAnza 2019 (MUSA)

Young Poetry Fans are in for a Treat (The Tribe)

Accessible Days Out in Fife (Sarah Lex)

StAnza 2019 Commissions (MUSA)  

Poetry festival line-up unveiled for 2019 (The Courier)

StAnza 2019 (Burnt Thumb)

At StAnza: thinking beyond this map (Catherine Wilson)

Rare, powerful and exciting: Saturday at StAnza 2019 (Emma Gibb)

‘Human beings together’: Friday reflections (Georgi Gill)

Another Place: Thursday Reflections (Carly Brown)

Poetic Conversations (Carly Brown)  

Podcasts and Videos

Liz Berry at StAnza

Fiona Moore at StAnza 

Mary Jean Chan at StAnza  

Flashmob at StAnza 2019

PDF icon PDF with links to StAnza 2019 Articles, etc.

PDF icon Articles, Podcasts and Videos from StAnza.pdf 


The Arch

A collaboration which began at StAnza in 2018 has resulted in an e-book of photographs by Geart Tigchelaar and selected poems by William Soutar, which can be seen at this link: PDF icon The Arch - poems and photographs.pdf



StAnza 2019 took place from 6-10 March, 2019

PDF icon StAnza 2019 Brochure PDF

StAnza 2019 Brochure online >>

Festival themes

Our themes for StAnza 2019 were Another Place and Off the Page.


Jill Abram
Mustafa Abu Sneineh
Laura Accerboni
Juana Adcock
Tolu Agbelusi
Ghayath Almadhoun
George Mario Angel Quintero
María Armental
Polly Atkin
Efe Paul Azino
Merle L. Bachman
Harry Baker
Jill Bennett
Liz Berry
Julia Bird
Caroline Bird
Lily Blacksell
John Bolland
Carly Brown
Alan Buckley
John Burnside
Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul
Madeleine Campbell
Michael Carroll
Lucy Cash
Mary Jean Chan
Anna Chapman Parker
Catherine Cobham
Ken Cockburn
Anne Connolly
Robert Crawford
Megan D
Peter Daniels
Christine De Luca
Rebecca DeWald
Imtiaz Dharker
Menna Elfyn
Patrick James Errington
Catherine Eunson
Sally Evans
Lisa Fannen
Marco Fazzini
Kitty Fedorec
Mónika Ferencz
Helena Fornells
Ella Frears
Iain Galbraith
Harry Josephine Giles
Richard Gwyn
Katharine Halls
Will Harris
Diana Hendry
Ramona Herdman
Ishion Hutchinson
Hanan Issa
Astrid Jaekel
Nadine Aisha Jassat
Joe with the Glasses
Brian Johnstone
Chris Jones
Emma Jones
Claudiu Komartin
Hannah Lavery
Shara Lessley
Sara Lodge
Pàdraig MacAoidh
Alex MacDonald
Jim Mackintosh
Anne Martin
Nichola Martin
Richie McCaffery
Beth McDonough
Jay MillAr
Fiona Moore
J.O. Morgan
Simona Nastac
Helena Nelson
Helen Nicholson
Ben Norris
David Owen Norris
Past Poets 2019
Nalini Paul
Josep Pedrals
Luke Pell
Jon Plunkett
Raluca Popa
Tom Pow
Claudio Pozzani
Julia Prescott
Eveline Pye
Arne Rautenberg
Marilyn Ricci
Jacqueline Saphra
Natasha Saunders
Zein Sa’dedin
Finola Scott
Kathrine Sowerby
Alan Spence
A.E. Stallings
Gerda Stevenson
Matthew Stewart
Em Strang
Rebecca Sweetman
Balázs Szőllőssy
Alice Tarbuck
Caroline Teague
Angela Topping
Krisztina Tóth
Kate Tough
Lindsay Turk
Hamish Whyte
Mark Wilde
Ross Wilson
Antosh Wojcik
Belinda Zhawi

Funding for 2019

StAnza was funded by Creative Scotland, EventScotland and Fife Council and supported by the University of St Andrews, the School of English, St Andrews Community Trust, St Leonards and StayInStAndrews, with additional support for 2019 from ProHelvetia, the Hungarian Cultural Centre London and the Goethe-Institut.