The countdown has begun for StAnza 2013 with the launch of the festival programme on StAnza’s website.
StAnza will be held in St Andrews from 6-10 March. Over 70 poets will be appearing in over 90 events, along with 30 artists, writers, musicians and actors in what promises to be the most innovative festivals ever. Headlining poets include two poet laureates, Scotland’s own Liz Lochhead and her Welsh counterpart Gillian Clarke.
Other headlining poets include Robin Robertson, Luke Wright, Paula Meehan, the USA’s Mark Doty, and three poets from Canada: Ken Babstock (recent winner of the prestigious Griffin Prize), Erín Moure and Antony Christie. Other well-known names to look for are George Szirtes and two poets from the T. S. Eliot Prize shortlist: Sean Borodale and Deryn Rees-Jones. The lively, entertaining poet and broadcaster John Hegley heads up this year’s Children’s programme, which includes StAnza’s Children’s Poetry Competition. In keeping with StAnza’s commitment to international poetry, there will be poets from Singapore, Romania, Latvia, Iceland and Germany, as well as a particular focus on poetry from Wales. Joining Gillian Clarke and Deryn Rees-Jones, will be Zoë Skoulding, Eurig Salisbury, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch and Ifor Ap Glyn.
Drama and music feature too, with a rehearsed reading of Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem Marmion about the Battle of Flodden, a concert of Jacobean music from the Fires of Love quartet, and Shakespeare as you have never heard him before in Martin Dimery’s Shakespeare, Rattle and Roll. Building on the success of StAnza’s all-day workshop at Balmungo House, former home of the artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, there will be two workshops in 2013, led by major poets, on 5 and 6 March.
StAnza’s 2013 programme has two main themes, which the poets themselves will take up in their readings and which inspire many other poetry related events:
Designs on Poetry looks at the forms poems take and the relationship between other aspects of design and poetry. One of StAnza’s famous poetry breakfast discussions will look at poetry and form, and the festival’s visual art strand, already famous for innovative approaches to poetry and art will feature some intriguing encounters, including an exhibition by Iain Hamilton Finlay and The Lace Sensor Dresses, part of the Lace Sensor Project, a collaboration between artists Anja Hertenberger and Meg Grant which combines poetry with dress design, using conductive lace.
Legacy & Place coincides with the 600th anniversary celebrations at the University of St Andrews and is a response to the Year of Natural Scotland. The theme looks at the impact on poetry of great past writers, men and women of the arts and sciences; and also how poetry addresses a sense of place and the importance of natural and built environment. Two major events celebrating this theme are the festival’s opening night Riverrun is a stunning multimedia evocation of Dublin past and present, with poetry, music and visual imagery. And in a unique collaboration with the University of St Andrews, StAnza will be launching a poetry digital map of St Andrews, linking specific poems and poets with landmarks around the town.
Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone says: ‘There's something for all tastes and every interest in this festival, plus of course plenty of interactive events. We’re working with some wonderful new partners such as Badilisha Poetry X-change, Literature Across Frontiers, Speaking Volumes and Grey Hen Press, and bringing to St Andrews poets from across Scotland and around the world.’
The StAnza’s programme features details of events, background information about participants and sample poems. Tickets go on sale in early January and can be booked online or via the Byre Theatre box office: 01334 475000.