StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival launched its programme last week (1st February) at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh with a ‘tasting menu’ of the events to come.
StAnza takes place in St Andrews from 14-18 March and will feature over 60 poets and over 90 events. The festival is part of the Year of Creative Scotland 2012. St Andrews, where is the festival is based recently received a Creative Places award from Creative Scotland, in recognition of its cultural activities.
The preview was introduced by Andrew Martin, of the NLS, who hosted the Preview, and StAnza’s Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone, who outlined the programme’s themes. The Image is an exploration of the relationship between poetry and visual art and photography, and Poetry by Degrees allows for a wide range of workshops and interactive events to encourage creativity during the festival itself.
The cover of the StAnza brochure, also launched at the preview, is an example of a fruitful collaboration between visual artist and poet. It features a painting by Derek Robertson and is a response to a poem by Skye poet Rody Gorman. More paintings will be on show during the festival.
Guest poets Andy Jackson, Kevin Cadwallender and Sheila Templeton took up the theme if the image with readings from Jackson’s new anthology, Split-Screen: poems inspired by cult TV programmes and films, from Mission Impossible to The Clangers. Gerry Cambridge read a selection of his poems on the theme of the photography. To round off the event, Stretch Dawrson, of the Mending Hearts Trio, got the audience’s feet tapping with some uniquely Scottish swing music and a rendition of Jacque Prevert’s ‘Autumn Leaves’. The band will be headlining at StAnza’s Finale night.
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