StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival serves up a feast of poetry in performance

StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival celebrates live poetry in all its forms and this year presents one of its most exciting and varied programmes of performance poetry and spoken word. The festival takes place at St Andrews from 6-10 March and the full programme is available online at

Appearing together centre stage at the Town Hall are two outstanding performers, both of whom have delighted audiences. John Hegley is one of the UK’s most innovative comic poets. A frequent performer on stage and on radio, he has several best-selling volumes of poetry to his name – most recently, Peace, Love & Potatoes (Serpent's Tail, 2012).  Jacob Sam-La Rose is a poet, educator, freelance artistic director and editor. His pamphlet Communion was a Poetry Book Society selection in 2006, and his debut collection, Breaking Silence, was published in 2011 by Bloodaxe Books.

StAnza is also pairing two of Europe’s most entertaining and challenging poets: Hannah Silva who has been described by the Times Online as ‘one of the most ambitious and entertaining poets in the country’ and is famous for her radical approach and political edge. Iceland’s Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl works with performance and sound-poetry and regularly appears at poetry and music festivals. Both poets are highly experimental in a way that draws in their audiences. 

Appearing at the festival for the first time is performance supremo Luke Wright, host and co-programmer of The Latitude Poetry Arena and the founder of poetry collective Aisle16. He will be taking part in StAnza’s Poetry Café lunchtime shows: also on the list are Performance Poetry World Cup winner Ghostboy, Sally Crabtree, Harry Giles, Rob Barratt, and Rachel McCrum.

The StAnza Slam, which will be hosted by Luke Wright, is the highlight of the performance programme, attracting performers from all over Scotland and beyond. Previous winners include Chris Young and Robin Cairns.

Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone said: ‘StAnza is putting more emphasis on exciting and inventive ways to experience poetry and spoken word. It is an aspect of the festival that is becoming more and more popular and our programme reflects that.’

Click for  more about the performers, their events and samples of their work.

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