StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival has ended on a high with organisers hailing it a huge success.
Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: “We're thrilled that 2016 has been another extremely successful year for StAnza and we were delighted to welcome a huge number of visitors over the five days, many of whom travelled a great distance to join us.
"Many events sold out and others were live streamed to international audiences which is testament to how exciting and inspiring the programme has been this year."
The festival was officially opened by StAnza's special guest, Fife singer songwriter James Yorkston. Guests enjoyed readings by Rebecca Sharp, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch as well as a performance by University of St Andrews a cappella group, The Accidentals. This year's opening night show was a moving performance of Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains, a collaboration between award winning saxophonist Tommy Smith, and his celebrated group Karma together with acclaimed Shetlandic poet, Christine De Luca.
Among the big names from the literary world on the programme this year were Don Paterson, Andrew McMillan, Jo Bell, Lemn Sissay, Pascale Petit, Sean O’Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside. They were joined by Nora Gomringer from Germany, Swedish poet Aase Berg, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch from the USA and Australian poet Sarah Holland-Batt and many, many more.
StAnza concludes today (Sunday) after five days of over 100 events including performances, readings, music, drama, talks, workshops and a masterclass, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations involving over 60 artists and thousands of visitors in the Fife coastal town of St Andrews.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “2016 has been another exciting year for StAnza, showcasing the very best of local and international poetic talent. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and in StAnza we have a festival that engages with and inspires its audience, which is testament to the hard work of Eleanor and her team.”
Eleanor Livingstone added: “Attendance has been excellent this year, and while it’s too early to give exact visitor numbers we are confident we have met our expectations. 2016 has been a fantastic festival for StAnza and while it's always sad when it's over, we’re thrilled to end on such a high.”