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StAnza International Poetry Festival

StAnza: Afterword 2013

Photo: Jiye Lee

Following the unexpected closure of the Byre Theatre just weeks before the festival, the Town Hall became this year’s lively festival hub and even the weather didn’t spoil the enjoyment.

Our audiences cheerfully coped with the last minute venue changes and packed out our poetry café for daily poetry breakfast panel discussions and late night open mic events, which were busier than ever before. More than 70 poets took part in the festival so any review can just pick out a couple of highlights, but Gillian Clarke’s lecture was perfect for the week Scotland met Wales on the rugby field; the night Mark Doty shared a stage with Erín Moure was pretty special; if Jacob Sam La-Rose and John Hegley had us laughing, Martin Dimery’s had us in stitches; and the Scottish poet Robin Robertson, who declined my suggestion that he retire to bed with a Lemsip but whose flu resulted in him reading from his new collection, Hill of Doors, in tones, as he said, “more sepulchral than necessary”, gave us an unforgettable festival finale. Scottish noire indeed.

As well as featuring major poets from more than a dozen countries around the world, from as far apart as Singapore, Canada, Australia and Iceland, taking part in every kind of reading and performance, and very successful visual art and craft works, musical events, drama and films, undaunted by the weather poetry was out and about in the streets and shops of St Andrews through window and audio installations and our Poetry Postie on her tricycle. Our exhibition at Fairmont St Andrews will remain on show until September and some other poetry installations remain in place in show windows around town for the benefit of summer visitors.

Now you can check out our podcast links and listen to some of this year’s most interesting poets chatting while they were at StAnza. Meantime this year’s gallery of photographs captures glimpses and moments from around the festival and we hope you enjoy browsing through them. We are now planning next year’s festival and look forward to welcoming you back then. 

The StAnza Lecture 2013

Read First Words: How Poetry Began - Y Gododdin by Gillian Clarke [PDF]


See the StAnza 2013 photo gallery


Listen to podcasts from StAnza

Reviews and Interviews

Some of the online articles and blogs:

StAnza: Scotland's international poetry festival in St Andrews, Fife
Avocado Sweet, 27 February 2013

StAnza festival: Mark Doty talks Walt Whitman
The Scotsman, 2 March 2013

StAnza hailed as best ever despite Byre Theatre closure
The Courier, 15 March 2013

StAnza: The poetry festival that almost never happened
The Scotsman, 15 March 2013

Gillian Clarke, Liz Lochhead and Mark Doty among Stanza 2013 highlights
The List, 15 March 2013

Event Review: Poetry Centre Stage StAnza 2013
Scottish Review of Books, 16 March 2013

Inspirational Exchanges at Farlin
Rio Magazine, 22 March 2013

How it snowed on StAnza 2013, but poetry melted us
Jean Atkin's Blog, 11 March 2013

Erin Moure and Mark Doty
Dundee University Review of the Arts, March 2013

Rushing, reading, reporting
George Szirtes' Blog, 13 March 2013


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