Poetry festival gets social with digital poet in residence

StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival is embracing technology to bring a social element to the festival with the addition of a digital poet in residence. The annual festival prides itself in creating a programme which has something for everyone, with this year no different as the festival brings digital poetry and social media together.

Christodoulos Makris, StAnza 2017’s digital poet in residence, will use simple text editing tools to make poems out of internet browsing history, in real time. The resulting pieces are to be showcased as physical and subsequently digital installations, and will cumulatively provide an oblique record of the festival and its setting in time and place. In addition to material Christodoulos gets naturally drawn to during the festival period, he’ll welcome contributions and suggestions from the public.

Christodoulos Makris was named as one of Poetry Ireland's 'Rising Generation' poets in 2016. He is co-curator of Phonica, a multidisciplinary series of events in Dublin, and the poetry editor of gorse. He has made algorithmic Twitter widget poetry, multi-lingual process poems through repeated use of Google Translate, and collaborations via public and private exchanges, among other digitally-produced work. His current work-in-progress explores anonymous and pseudonymous writing on the internet.

StAnza Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone said: "At StAnza we pride ourselves in delivering a varied programme which includes something for everyone. An increased focus on digital and social media means we are really extending the reach of the festival and engaging with more people than ever before.

“We’re thrilled to have Christodoulos Makris joining us this year as digital poet in residence which we’re sure will add an exciting dynamic to the festival.”

Aly Barr, Acting Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland said: “StAnza has cemented its place as one of the foremost poetry festivals in the world. Its programme brings poets of all styles from all nations to a five day long poetry oasis in Fife. I’d recommend all thirsty readers and listeners travel along and drink deep.”

The festival is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said:  “We are delighted to be supporting StAnza again this year. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and in StAnza we have a festival that truly engages its audience, which is testament to the hard work of Eleanor and her team. With a number of performances, readings workshops and talks there is undoubtedly something for everyone.”

 StAnza lasts for five days from 1st to 5th 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. 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. 

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