Scotland’s International Poetry Festival embraces the avant-garde


StAnza has been building up a reputation for encouraging the experimental and this year, the festival features poets and performers at the forefront  of the avant-garde in the UK and Europe, including two specially commissioned pieces.

Keston Sutherland is one of the UK’s foremost avant-garde poets. He is the editor of Quid, East Sussex’s chief organ of neopreraphaelite totalitarian poetics, the co-editor (with Andrea Brady) of Barque Press and the co-director (with Sara Crangle) of the Sussex Poetry Festival, an annual celebration of left-activist, avant-garde and nonconformist art poetry, performance, translation and free improvisation.

Holly Pester is a sound poet, artist and researcher based in London. She regularly performs at text, art and poetry events such as the international Serpentine Poetry Marathon 2009 and Text Festival 2011. Her first collection of poetry, Hoofs, has recently been released with if p then q press. She also has work in The Bury Poems, a Text Festival publication.

Sharks is a poetry collective based in Sweden. In their work they take an interest in humour, genres, knowledge, psychology and form. They have previously, among other things, written, and performed, a poem together with fifteen teenagers in a small Swedish town on the topic of disassembling a municipality. Sharks often co-operate with other people and groups and are always educating themselves. For StAnza, Sharks uncovers what there is to know about the 13th sign of the Zodiac and how it will affect our lives. As a special event for The Year of Creative Scotland, Sharks shall be webcasting live with this specially commissioned performance.

For updates on StAnza’s programme, including listings, events, participant biographies, sample poems and booking information, visit  You can also find us on Facebook, hear the latest on  the StAnza Blog, and follow us on Twitter

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