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Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, StAnza, reveals 2019 programme

Published: 18 Jan 2019

StAnza - Credit Alistair Kerr Photography

The wait is finally over as tickets for this year's StAnza festival - Scotland’s International Poetry Festival - go on sale. The five-day festival, which runs from 6 - 10 March in St Andrews, Fife, will launch with an opening night gala performance, featuring a selection of headline poets reading and performing, intertwined with music, film and art.

Among the headline voices performing at the festival is winner of the prestigious Costa Book Prize, Scottish poet J.O Morgan. He will be joined by winner of the 2018 Forward Prize for Poetry for Best Single Poem, Liz Berry and poet, artist and film-maker, Imtiaz Dharker, awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry in 2014. They are joined by award-winning Jamaican poet and essayist, Ishion Hutchinson and Welsh poet, playwright, columnist, and editor Menna Elfyn. Also on the programme for 2019 is Caroline Bird, shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Award and the Ted Hughes Award in 2017.

Other poets performing at StAnza include Joe with the Glasses, Fiona Moore, A.E. Stallings, Alan Spence, George Mario Angel Quintero, Gerda Stevenson, Matthew Stewart and many, many more.

StAnza - photo credit Olivia Vitazkova

Festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: “The programme for 2019 really does have something for everyone and brings together acclaimed poets, new voices and emerging talent from all around the world.

“As tickets go on sale the countdown is definitely on for this year's festival, with the stage now set for another fantastic few days celebrating poetry in its many forms. We look forward to welcoming the world to St Andrews to enjoy this literary feast."

Mairi Kidd, Interim Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing said: “StAnza’s superb programming continues for 2019 with another vibrant mix of well established-names and up-and-coming talent and two fascinating interlinked themes pushing the boundaries for poetry. There are many treats for poetry lovers and music, film, art and more to entice in those who may have previously thought poetry wasn’t for them. It’s especially great to see J.O Morgan is joining the programme, offering Scottish audiences the chance to hear the work that so excited the Costa judges earlier this month.”

StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. This year’s themes are Off the Page and Another Place. Off the Page will explore poetry's relationship with the medium it's written on, and will enjoy poetry presented in ways which aren’t in conventional book form. With the concept of ‘the other’ seeming ever more charged, Another Place will showcase poets who look beyond the familiar to explore new places and ideas. It will engage with the positive and negative, from the benefit to poets of experiencing new places, to concerns that climate change, extremism, etc. are threatening the future and turning it into another place.

Another highlight for 2019 will be a spotlight on poetry from the Mediterranean and beyond. StAnza is also delighted to be taking part in A Year of Conversation, a collaborative project designed to celebrate, initiate and to explore conversation through the arts. A Year of Conversation has been created by Tom Pow and various others as a year long Scottish initiative working with partners who will deliver events in the strand themed around conversation.

This year’s festival is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online. Full box office details are online or you can call the box office on 01334 475000.  The printed brochure will be available early next month.

Notes to Editors

StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival is held every March in St Andrews and runs one-off events throughout the year. The festival has as its hub, the Byre Theatre, and many of its events which are expected to exceed 100 next year are held in other venues around St Andrews, including the Town Hall and St Johns, a mediaeval undercroft.

StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival is funded by Creative Scotland, EventScotland and Fife Council, with support from the University of St Andrews.

A Year of Conversation is a collaborative project designed to celebrate, initiate and to explore conversation through the arts. The aim of the project is to show that our culture is an open one – or show the role of conversation in helping it to become one: ‘a distinct creative nation connected to the world’. Organisations and individuals will engage with the various themes in different ways, depending on their interests and aims of the organisation: through events, processes and projects.

Press Enquiries

Louise Robertson, Press & Media Manager
Email: press@stanzapoetry.org
Mobile: 07930 539832

Photo credits: Alistair Kerr Photography and Olivia Vitazkova