Costa Poetry Award winner Don Paterson to headline 2016 Festival

 The wait is finally over as tickets for this year's StAnza festival go on sale. With the full programme now online, the box office is open for the much anticipated event which takes place in two months time in Fife.

 StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival  lasts for five days from 2nd to 6th March and features around 100 events, many of them free – a diverse range of performances, readings, music, drama, talks, workshops and a masterclass, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations. StAnza is the place to hear your favourite poet, discover new voices, meet other poets, writers and publishers and enjoy the energetic buzz of the beautiful and historic town of St Andrews.

 Festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: "The countdown is now definitely on for this year's festival, with the stage set for another fantastic few days celebrating poetry and the spoken word in its many forms.

 "We're thrilled to have a wonderful programme which is bursting with some of the best and newest poetry talent and look forward to welcoming the world to St Andrews to enjoy this literary feast."

 The annual festival this year opens with a performance of Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains. The performance is a collaboration between Tommy Smith, award winning saxophonist and director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and his celebrated group Karma together with acclaimed Shetlandic poet and Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca.

 Among StAnza’s 2016 headliners is Don Paterson, who last week won the Costa Poetry Award for his latest collection, 40 Sonnets, published by Faber and Faber. The Scottish poet and jazz musician previously won the accolade in 2003 and is also twice winner of the T.S. Eliot prize. He is joined by recent winner of the Guardian First Book award and Fenton Aldeburgh first collection prize, Andrew McMillan. Commenting on performing at StAnza, Andrew McMillan said: "Stanza is an iconic festival which has seen some of the world's best poets perform - I'm honoured and delighted to be there".

 Other big names from the literary world to perform at the annual festival include Fiona Benson, joint winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, English poet Jo Bell, winner of the Causley Prize and the Manchester Cathedral Prize in 2014, and Lemn Sissay, recipient of an MBE for services to literature and the first poet to write for the London Olympics. The UK headliners include Pascale Petit, Sean O’Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside who will be joined by Nora Gomringer from Germany, Swedish poet Aase Berg, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch from the USA and Australian poet Sarah Holland-Batt.

 StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. This year’s first theme will be Body of Poetry, looking at poetry which engages with the human body, its needs, appetites and how it changes. As part of the second theme, City Lines, the festival will have a strong focus on Architecture for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and will connect St Andrews with various cities worldwide, including Berlin as part of a focus on German poetry for 2016.

 Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting StAnza again through our Beacon programme. The festival attracts thousands of people to St. Andrews each year along with some of the most prestigious poets from across the globe, making it a real highlight in Scotland’s cultural events calendar.

 "This year’s theme, City Lines is a wonderful way for the festival to celebrate the relationship between the historic town of St. Andrews itself, architecture and poetry as part of Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture, and Design." 

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online. Full box office details are online at our booking page or telephone the box office on 01334 475000.  The printed brochure will be available later this month.

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