StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival has ended on a high with organisers haling the 22nd festival a huge success.
Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: “It’s always sad when the festival closes for another year but we couldn’t be happier with the success of StAnza 2019 which has exceeded all expectations.
“We’ve enjoyed a wonderful five days in St Andrews celebrating poetry in all its forms with an incredible line up of poets from here in Scotland, the UK and further afield. We are indebted to everyone, from poets, artists, volunteers, funders and partners, who have helped make the festival such an exceptional event.”
StAnza 2019 launched with a opening night gala extravaganza which featured a selection of headline poets, including A.E. Stallings, George Mario Angel Quintero, Helena Fornells and Jim Carruth, reading and performing, intertwined with film, art and music from Megan D. The evening opened with a warm and amusing address from multiple award winning poet, critic and editor Douglas Dunn.
Among the highlights of this year’s programme was the StAnza Lecture: ‘The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it’ given by John Burnside, winner of both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize. As with previous years a number of the most popular events had to be live streamed such was demand.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Events play a key role in our visitor economy and EventScotland is delighted at the success of the 2019 edition of StAnza. Eleanor and the festival team should be congratulated on delivering another strong and innovative programme, which has drawn participants and visitors from across the country and further afield, demonstrating just why Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events.”
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 120 artists and thousands of visitors in the Fife coastal town of St Andrews.
Eleanor Livingstone added: “Ticket sales have been excellent this year with many events selling out well in advance of the festival opening. While it’s too early to give exact visitor number we are delighted with attendance which adds to the huge success of StAnza 2019.”
This year’s festival is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.