StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival takes poetry by degrees in a celebration of poetry and education


StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival has expanded its long established commitment to education as part of its theme Poetry by Degrees. The festival runs at St Andrews from 14-18 March and is part of the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.

The festival programme is packed with workshops, inspirational sessions and opportunities for both new and experienced poets to develop their work. The festival’s other main theme, The Image will provide the impetus for both these practical events and the series of talks and discussions centred on the craft and the study of poetry.

The theme is also part of the celebrations of the 600th anniversary of the University of St Andrews. Scotland’s first creative writing programme was founded by poet Douglas Dunn at St Andrews in 1990 and StAnza has strong connections with the programme, the School of English, where it is based, and with the university, which is a festival supporter. In recognition of this creative aspect of education, many of the workshops and classes are run by poets connected with creative writing programmes in Scotland, the UK and overseas.

Kwame Dawes and John Glenday will be leading themed workshops respectively on poetic language and imagery. Glenday is a tutor at Mhoniack Mhor, the Scottish base of the Arvon Foundation, which is forming an outpost at StAnza 2012. Dawes is connected to the creative writing programme at the University of South Carolina. David Morley, founder of the University of Warwick writing programme, will be leading the StAnza Masterclass, which offers selected poets the chance to have their work discussed.

Tickets for StAnza go on general sale on 11 January. For updates on StAnza’s programme, including events lists, participant biographies, sample poems and booking information, visit, find us on Facebook, read the StAnza Blog, or follow us on Twitter (@stanzapoetry)

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