Five Things to See: StAnza International Poetry Festival

Poet Rachel McCrum performing at StAnza 2013
Category: Reading
Tagged: poetry, events

Spring has sprung in literary Scotland! You can’t turn around without hitting a crocus, a snowdrop or a cracking literature event!

Kicking off tomorrow is the StAnza International Poetry festival (5 - 9 March 2014), Scotland’s annual celebration of the many different forms poetry can take. StAnza is one the great small festivals of Scotland, attracting internationally renowned poets and performers to a festival so small and cosy that you are just as likely to share a cup of tea with your poetry hero as you are to see them recite their work on the big stage.

The programme is short, lasting only five days, but packed to bursting with more poetry than you can shake a stick at. If you have no idea where to start, here are our five picks for a whirlwind tour through StAnza!



Wednesday 5 March, 7:30pm

Main Stage, Byre Theatre, St Andrews

If you are looking for something a little different from your poetry, look no further than Rime, a new circus show based on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. Devised and produced by Square Peg Theatre Company, Rime tells the famous story through a combination of acrobatics, circus, song and spoken word.  A new way to engage with poetry for a modern audience, this is one event I wouldn’t miss.

For more information and details on how to book, click here.


Poetry Cafe

Thursday through Sunday, 1pm

Studio, Byre Theatre, St Andrews

StAnza wouldn’t be StAnza without their pioneering work bringing together two of life’s greatest pleasures, poetry and food.  Every day at 1pm, rock up to the Byre and enjoy a great pie, a beer and a lunchtime performance from a diverse range of Scottish poets. Featuring this year are Carly Brown, McGuire, Graeme Hawley, Rachel Amey, Peter Wyton and Ross Sutherland.

For more information and details on how to book, click here.


Scottish Book Trust Showcase

Saturday 8 March, 12:45pm

Council Chamber, Town Hall, St Andrews

We can’t mention StAnza without giving a nod to the Scottish Book Trust showcase happening on Saturday 8 March. This event is a great chance to see work from the poetry awardees of our New Writers grant from the last several years.  Featured this year are Andrew Sclater, Kathrine Sowerby, Tracey S Rosenberg and Marion McCready.

For more information and details on how to book, click here.


Brian Turner and David Constantine

Thursday 6 March, 8pm

Main Stage, Byre Theatre, St Andrews

The Main Stage events are a relaxed and lovely way to get know to a poet more fully.

David Constantine is a editor, translator, judge for the TS Eliot prize and accomplished poet in his own right. Hear him read from his latest collection, Elder, and from his wider work.

Brian Turner’s writing is influenced by his time spent in the US army serving overseas in Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and his second collection, Phantom Noise, was short listed for the TS Eliot prize.

For more information and details on how to book, click here.


Paul Muldoon: Round Table Reading

Sunday 9 March, 12:45pm

St Mary’s Hall, St Andrews

Round table readings are absolutely perfect for those poetry fans who have a little bit of raging fangirl in them.  If you enjoy getting up close and personal with your favourite writers, then this one is for you.

What could be better than seeing your favourite poet read in an intimate setting with only twelve other people? Paul Muldoon is one of the heavy hitters of contemporary poetry – and the round table reading is a chance to see him in the closest surroundings possible.

For more information and details on how to book, click here.


What events are you looking forward to in the StAnza programme? Let us know in the comments below. 

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