When Poetry met QR: StAnza launches an ambitious new digital poetry trail in St Andrews

StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival has collaborated with the School of Computer Science at the University of  St Andrews and a University spinout called Qraqrbox to set up an actual and digital poetry trail around the town of St Andrews. It is hoped this will eventually feature an audio clip of a poem by every poet who has ever lived, worked or studied in St Andrews attached to an appropriate location. The project is being launched with the first dozen poems from 7 March as part of StAnza 2013.

St Andrews has often been called the Scotland’s Poetry Town’ and now poetry is part of the townscape itself. On the StAnza Poetry Trail, visitors can hear contemporary poets read their poems at places connected to the poems. Other poets read poems by past poets. Visit the locations and scan the QR codes to be found there to read about the place and the poet, and listen as they read their poem. Poets will include John Burnside, Don Paterson and Douglas Dunn, all of whom have connections with St Andrews.

The code can be read on smart phones with a QR scanning app, and soon it will be possible to download a free Qraqrbox iPhone or Android app. Handouts, maps and a list of locations are available from StAnza’s Festival Desk at the Town Hall and from VisitScotland, Market Street, St Andrews 01334 474609. The project will continue to expand and develop after the festival.

Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone says: ‘I'm excited about the launch of our Digital Poetry Trail around St Andrews, “When poetry met QR...', or Qraqrbox.com.” Poets are now en route from all points of the compass to take part at StAnza this year - Singapore, Canada, Australia and Iceland, to name a few. So it’s fitting that we can let everyone explore St Andrews in such an innovative way, by linking poetry and place.’

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