“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'
Push the Boat Out
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
Stanza 2021 Online Brochure.pdf
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 »
Our themes for StAnza 2021 were Make it New and No Rhyme nor Reason.
Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul
Nabin K. Chhetri
Ifor ap Glyn
Ink Asher Hemp
Rob A. Mackenzie
Pól Mag Uidhir
Ciara Ní É
Past Poets 2021
Naomi Shihab Nye
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.