StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival brings world-class poetry to Scotland in an outstanding international line-up.


StAnza brings world class line-up of international poets to St Andrews. Each year, StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival invites poets to Scotland from across the world. Some are coming to these shores for the first time and many who, though established in their own countries are little known here, go on to gain new audiences. For 2012, the line-up features two major poets based in the USA and poets from Palestine, New Zealand, Poland, Republic of Macedonia, Sweden and Holland.

Based in the USA, Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica. He is the author of thirteen books of poetry and many books of fiction, non-fiction and drama. His collection, Hope’s Hospice (Peepal Tree), was published in May 2009. He is Distinguished Poet in Residence at the University of South Carolina and the programming director of the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica.

Chase Twichell was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and has lived for many years in the Adirondacks. A practicing Buddhist, her work often reflects her spiritual practice and her experiences of the wilderness surrounding her. Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New and Selected Poems was published by Bloodaxe in 2010.

Tusiata Avia is a poet, performer and children’s book writer. Of Samoan descent, she was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand and attended Canterbury University before moving to Auckland and then overseas. From 1990 she spent time in Samoa, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Africa, before returning to New Zealand in 2001. She has published two collections of poetry, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (2004), and Bloodclot (2009).

Having such a wide variety of poets with overseas origins or connections makes StAnza a unique opportunity for cultural exchanges and for some inspiring ideas.

For updates on StAnza’s programme, including events lists, participant biographies, sample poems and booking information, visit

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