Im­pres­sive line-up and pro­gramme for 21st an­niver­sary of StAnza

Poetry: Five-day fes­ti­val will bring St An­drews to life next March

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - Craig smiTh

StAnza, Scot­land’s In­ter­na­tional Poetry Fes­ti­val, has un­veiled its line-up of tal­ent for the 21st an­niver­sary event in March.

For five days and nights from March 7 St An­drews prom­ises to come alive with out­stand­ing poetry in all its forms.

The an­nual fes­ti­val will open with a spe­cial gala per­for­mance fea­tur­ing read­ings and per­for­mances, in­ter­twined with mu­sic, film and art.

Among the head­lin­ers ap­pear­ing at next year’s show­piece is Sinéad Mor­ris­sey, who re­cently won the pres­ti­gious For­ward Prize for Poetry and is a for­mer Belfast Poet Lau­re­ate and TS Eliot prize win­ner.

She will be joined by for­mer Scots Makar Liz Lochhead and Scot­tish poet and jazz mu­si­cian Don Pater­son, who will be in con­ver­sa­tion with Marie-Elsa Bragg, daugh­ter of Melvyn Bragg.

Also on the pro­gramme for 2018 is Gil­lian All­nutt, who was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry ear­lier this year; Tara Ber­gin, win­ner of the Sea­mus Heaney First Col­lec­tion Prize in 2014; and up-and-com­ing Scot­tish poet Wil­liam Let­ford.

Other names in­clude Rachael Boast, Michael Sym­mons Roberts and the con­tro­ver­sial prize-win­ning South Korean poet Ko Un.

Fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Eleanor Liv­ing­stone said: “We are thrilled to be launch­ing the pro­gramme for StAnza 2018 which will be our 21st an­niver­sary fes­ti­val.

“StAnza 2018 will show­case some of the big­gest names in the lit­er­ary world along­side some of the new­est and bright­est tal­ent to cel­e­brate poetry in all its forms.”

More than 80 events in­clud­ing poetry, mu­sic, film and art – many of which are free – will be held in St An­drews across the five-day pe­riod.

The fes­ti­val tra­di­tion­ally fo­cuses on two themes which in­ter­weave to give each event a unique flavour.

Next year’s themes are “Border­lines”, which will ex­am­ine how poetry can re­spond to, and en­gage with, a world con­nected through cul­ture but di­vided on maps, while the sec­ond theme of “The Self” will con­sider is­sues around the pres­ence or ab­sence of “The Self” in poetry.

StAnza is sup­ported by Creative Scot­land and Even­tS­cot­land, part of VisitS­cot­land’s events direc­torate.

Alan Bett, lit­er­a­ture of­fi­cer for Creative Scot­land, said: “StAnza has firmly es­tab­lished it­self as amongst Europe’s lead­ing show­cases of con­tem­po­rary poetry, cel­e­brat­ing Scot­land’s most ac­claimed po­ets and emerg­ing tal­ent, per­form­ing along­side their in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts.”

Liz Lochhead, top, will be one of the head­lin­ers at a fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Eleanor Liv­ing­stone, above, is “thrilled” about.

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