2021 Afterword

Annie Rutherford with banner

(c) Michael Macari

“I have never been to stanza before, and this year blew me away. I tuned into much, I didn’t want to miss a beat.”  Saili Katebe, virtual poet in residence at StAnza 2021

As Rebecca Solnit so beautifully says, “inside the word ‘emergency’ is ‘emerge’; from an emergency, new things come forth.” Amidst all the darkness of the past eighteen months, remarkable things have also emerged: new ways of being there for others, new ways of connecting – be it with friends or with strangers.

And what a joy it was, in these difficult times, to bring together poets and audiences from around the world for our first virtual StAnza. We were apart and yet together as people opened their homes and minds to poetry. How wonderful not just to see so many familiar faces but also to welcome new audiences from across the UK and every corner of the globe, from Greece to Ghana. Thank you for helping us to Make it New!

We won’t lie – it was a steep learning curve! Particular thanks this year to go our video editors at I Am Loud and our web manager David King, for all their patience and generosity. We’re pretty chuffed with what we created – and absolutely thrilled to have been voted Best Literary Festival in this year’s Saboteur Awards!

We always knew that we didn’t just want to bring poetry to your screens – instead we had poems on windows across Scotland, poetry on trees, in the post, or at the other end of the phone on our poetry hotline. Or back at the laptop/tablet/smartphone, you could choose your own adventure, or escape to the Fife Coastal Path and Tentsmuir Nature Reserve on a virtual poetry walk.

We hope that we reached everyone who needed a stanza in their life, whatever their circumstances. Of course, there was poetry that reflected these dark times – but we hope that if you needed a reason to smile, we made you chortle with laughter. We hope that if you needed a hug, you found poetry enveloped you.

This was also the final festival of our outgoing director, Eleanor Livingstone, who has brought so much to StAnza, including a serious sense of playfulness and an insistently international perspective. Thanks for everyone who joined in our collective reading for Eleanor on our final night – and of course, a huge thanks once again to Eleanor for all her passion, dedication and sheer hard work.

Meantime, the festival planning goes on. (No rest for the wicked. Or the arts administrators.) Join us in March next year for our first festival with Lucy Burnett at the helm – we hope very much to be able to welcome you back to the Byre! The adventure continues – let us see what emerges.

StAnza 2021 : 6 - 14 March : Gallery

Photographs of events and exhibitions at StAnza 2021

Articles and Blog Posts

The Scotsman: Poetry review: StAnza Festival Online

The List: StAnza 2021: 'As long as we are reading, we are never apart'

Burned Thumb

Push the Boat Out

Hannah Hodgeson

Hercules Editions

Sabotage Reviews / Saboteur Awards

Guest Editors: Glasgow Women's Library

DURA: StAnza 2021 Reviews Palimpsest

Guest Editors: Scottish Poetry Library

Guest Editor: DURA - Collective Amnesia

Guest Editor: DURA - Creating and Connecting Through Art

Guest Editor: Burning Eye - Talking Poetry

Guest Editor: DURA - Leaping Other Worlds

Guest Editor: DURA - Chuckles and Poetry

Guest Editor: Poetry, Cake, Wine and Old Friends

Guest Editor: DURA - Making it New

Guest Editor: Scottish BAME Writers Network

Guest Editor: Edinburgh Literary Salon

The Courier: ‘There are no borders’: StAnza opens up St Andrews to the world with online poetry festival

Fife poetry festival hailed an 'incredible success' despite Covid challenges | Fife Today

Video and Podcasts

Video: Panel Discussion on European Literature with Trafika Europe

StAnza 2021 Radio Preview Podcast from Trafika Europe

Welcome to Fife Podcast with StAnza Director


StAnza 2020 took place from 6-15 March, 2021

PDF icon Stanza 2021 Online Brochure.pdf

PDF icon Stanza 2021 Online Brochure.pdfStanza 2021 Online Brochure.pdfStanza 2021 Online Brochure.pdfStanza 2021 Online Brochure.pdfStanza 2021 Online Brochure.pdfStanza 2021 Online Brochure.pdf »

Festival themes

Our themes for StAnza 2021 were Make it New and No Rhyme nor Reason.


Agnès Agboton
Astrid Alben
Anthony Anaxagorou
Raymond Antrobus
Polly Atkin
Ruth Aylett
Kateryna Babkina
Aileen Ballantyne
Caroline Bird
Clive Birnie
Uilleam Blacker
Kimberly Blaeser
Andrew Blair
Helen Boden
Malika Booker
Jericho Brown
Colette Bryce
Larry Butler
Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul
Gerry Cambridge
Bela Chekurishvili
Nabin K. Chhetri
Ken Cockburn
Courtney Conrad
Eta Dahlia
Stephan Delbos
Imtiaz Dharker
Shehzar Doja
Tishani Doshi
Elga Dudareva
Sasha Dugdale
Jonathan Edwards
Inua Ellams
Lisa Fannen
Alec Finlay
Annie Fisher
Carolyn Forché
Jane Frank
Ella Frears
Beth Frieden
Jo Gilbert
Nikola Gjelincheski
John Glenday
Ifor ap Glyn
Mitko Gogov
Andrew Greig
Michael Grieve
Jen Hadfield
Katie Hale
Volha Hapeyeva
Will Harris
Lydia Harris
Claire Hastings
Rachel Hazell
Ink Asher Hemp
Tania Hershman
Alan Hill
Lisa Hooper
Andy Jackson
Jinhao Xie
Russell Jones
Chris Jones
Ilya Kaminsky
Mona Kareem
Saili Katebe
Marina Kazakova
Lisa Kelly
Katica Kulavkova
Theophilus Kwek
Myroslav Laiuk
Hannah Lavery
Tim Liardet
Rachel Long
Jane Longhurst
Janet Loverseed
Anneke Lubkowitz
Kirsten Luckins
Katrine Lyck
Peter Mackay
Rob A. Mackenzie
Robbie MacLeòid
Pól Mag Uidhir
Kartanya Maynard
Beth McDonough
Roger McGough
Hugh McMillan
Gordon Meade
Deborah Moffatt
Valzhyna Mort
Helena Nelson
Ciara Ní É
Mhairi Owens
Astra Papachristodoulou
Mariana Parisca
Past Poets 2021
D.A. Prince
Ligija Purinaša
Koleka Putuma
Nat Raha
Hannah Raymond-Cox
Roger Robinson
Calum Rodger
Jacqueline Saphra
Lawrence Schimel
Rebecca Sharp
Naomi Shihab Nye
John Siddique
Steve Smart
Monika Smekot
Alison Smith
Maria Stepanova
Laila Sumpton
Ingrida Tārauda
Joelle Taylor
Sheila Templeton
Greg Thomas
Marvin Thompson
Kate Tough
Indrė Valantinaitė
Roseanne Watt
Christopher Whyte
Jayde Will
Rab Wilson
Catherine Wilson
Jennifer Wong
Lyuba Yakimchuk
Jane Yolen
Adam Zagajewski

Funding for 2021

StAnza is funded by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters, and Fife Council and supported by the School of English at the University of St Andrews and St Andrews Community Trust with additional support for 2021 from the Edwin Morgan Trust and Gaelic Books Council.