You are viewing the StAnza Poetry Festival 2005-2014 archive
For the current festival site, go to


A Celebration of Poetry : St Andrews : 14 - 18 March 2007 : The 10th Anniversary



The Poets : Others Featured

The Poets

Fiona Benson received an M.Litt with distinction in Creative Writing from St. Andrew’s University in 2004 and and has since been working on a PhD on versions of Ophelia in early modern drama. She has volunteered for the past five years at a Christmas homeless relief shelter in London and is exploring the possibility of voluntary work in Africa. Her poems have been published in Arete 12 and 15, The Feminist Review 72, and the Times Literary Supplement. She won an Eric Gregory award in 2006 and is currently working on her first collection of poems.

Retta Bowen Retta is a writer, performer and cake-maker.  She grew up in Africa and Austria and has travelled widely. She studied English Literature at Leeds University and later worked as an editor for the Institute for Social Inventions, where she advised on green funerals and co-edited Poem for the Day Two (Chatto and Windus, 2003). She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005 and won the Dawson Jackson award for most promising writer. She was awarded an Eric Gregory in 2006. She is training in child psychotherapy and lives in London.

Ron Butlin was born in Edinburgh in 1949. His poetry and fiction have been translated into over ten languages. The French translation of The Sound of My Voice was awarded Le Prix Mille Pages 2004 and Le Prix Lucioles 2005 (both for Best Foreign Novel). Without a Backward Glance (Barzan 2005) features new and selected poems. Much of his work has been broadcast in Britain and abroad. His third novel Belonging (Serpent‘s Tail) was published in August '06. His poetry and fiction have won several Scottish Arts Council Book Awards.

Top of Page

Mathew Caley was born in Nottingham in 1959. He is co-editor of Pop Fiction : The Song In Cinema (Intellect, 2005), a book of commissioned essays, and currently Senior Lecturer in Art & Design at London Metropolitan University . He has been Poet-in-Residence at The Poetry Cafe, London and won 3rd Prize in the National Poetry Competition. His debut collection Thirst (1999) was Nominated for The Forward Prize For Best First Collection; his second is The Scene Of My Former Triumph (Wrecking Ball Press, 2005).

Jim Carruth was born in Johnstone in 1963. After spending a period in Turkey he returned to live in Renfrewshire. He currently works in community regeneration. He has two chapbook collections of poetry published. High Auchensale (Ludovic Press 2006) is the second part of a longer sequence started with Bovine Pastoral (Ludovic Press 2004). He has had poems selected for the Twenty Best Scottish Poems list in 2004 and in 2006, and for inclusion in the anthology 100 Favourite Scottish Poems (Luath 2006).

Polly Clark was born in 1968 in Toronto. She has pursued a number of careers, including zookeeping at Edinburgh Zoo and teaching English in Hungary. Sheis the author of two collections of poetry: Kiss (Bloodaxe 2000), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and Take Me With You (Bloodaxe 2005) which was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize 2005. She lives on the West Coast of Scotland where she organises international translation exchanges between poets.

Jenni Daiches was born in Chicago. For over 20 years she worked at the National Museums of Scotland and she writes on literary and historical subjects as Jenni Calder, and poetry as Jenni Daiches. Her published poetry includes Mediterranean (Scottish Cultural Press, 1995), and Smoke (Kettillonia, 2005). She is working on a new collection, Lochgilphead Lights. Recent publications include Not Nebuchadnezzar: In Search of Identities (Luath, 2005), Scots in the USA (Luath, 2006) and Letters from the Great Wall (Luath, 2006).

Imtiaz Dharker, poet, artist and documentary film-maker was born in Pakistan and grew up a Muslim Calvinist in a Lahori household in Glasgow and eloped with a Hindu Indian to live in Bombay. She now lives between India, London and Wales. She often draws her themes from her life of transition. Her books, Postcards from God (including Purdah), I Speak for the Devil (2001) and The Terrorist at my Table (2006), all Bloodaxe, include her own drawings.

Elena Fanailova, born in Voronezh, Russia, has practiced as a doctor and taught at Voronezh University. She is the author of several collections of poetry and was awarded the Andrey Bely Literary Prize in 1999 and ‘ Moscow score’ in 2003. Fanailova has translated the German poet Briggitt Oleshinsky, and her own poems have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, and Dutch. She is the Moscow correspondent of Radio Liberty and reported from Beslan in September 2004.

Marco Fazzini teaches English language and literature at the Ca' Foscari University in Venice. His poetry has appeared in various magazines. He has translated into Italian the poetry of, amongst others, Norman MacCaig, Edwin Morgan and Douglas Dunn. Other works includes his collection of literary criticism, Crossings: Essays on Contemporary Scottish Poetry and Hybridity (2000). Most recently he edited Alba Literaria: a New History of Scottish Literature (2005).

Top of Page

Roy Fisher was born in Birmingham in 1930 and lived there for forty years. From 1953 to 1982 he taught in schools, colleges and universities, and from 1946 to 1996 he worked as a jazz pianist. Fifty years of his writings are collected in The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955-2005 (Bloodaxe 2005). A companion volume is Interviews Through Time and Selected Prose (Shearsman 2000). He is Honorary Poet of the City of Birmingham and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Anne Frater was born in 1967 in the Isle of Lewis, and brought up with Gaelic as her first language. Her poetry has been published in the collection Fo’n t-Slige (Gairm, 1995) and the anthologies An Aghaidh na Sìorraidheachd (Polygon, 1991), An Anthology of Scottish Women’s Poetry (Edinburgh University Press, 1991), Siud an t-Eilean (Acair, 1993), Dream State: The New Scottish Poets (Polygon, Edinburgh 1994), An Tuil (Polygon, 1999); She works as a lecturer on the UHIMI Gaelic degree courses at Lewis Castle College.

Maria Galina was born in Tver, Russia, but spent her childhood in Odessa. She is by training a biologist. She also writes prose. In 2000-2001 she was a regular columnist for ‘Literaturnaya Gazeta’. Her first publication was in Yunost in 1991, and her novels have been translated into Polish, her stories into English. A professional writer since 1995, she has won many prizes for both her prose and poetry, including the Novyi Mir prize (2005) and the Moskovsky schet (2006).

Alan Gay lives in East Lothian. He studied Political Science and was formerly an Educational Advisor. He now lectures in Navigation and Meteorology and spends his summers with his wife Jancis sailing their yacht. His poetry pamphlets include Songs of Sorrow (Bullseye, 2003), Gone Sailing (Bullseye, 2002), All Points North (The Voyage to Bear Island, Spitsbergen and Greenland) (MH Projects, 1996) and The Boy Who Came Ashore (Dreadful Night Press, 2006).

Jorie Graham was born in 1950 and raised in Rome, Italy. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and most recently Overlord (HarperCollins, 2005). She has taught at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and is currently the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University. She served as a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in France.

Jen Hadfield was born in 1978 in Cheshire and is half-Canadian. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2003 and was one of the Scottish Poetry Library’s New Voices for Autumn 2005. She lives in Shetland, where she is working on her second poetry collection, Nigh-No-Place. Her first collection of poetry is Almanacs (Bloodaxe 2005). She publishes artist-books under the name of Rogue Seeds, and works as a poet, photographer, artist and tutor. Her latest project is a collaboration with fine printer Ursula Freeman.

Matt Harvey was born in Cheshire in 1962, grew up in Ireland, Scotland and Twickenham, and lives in Totnes. Since co-writing and co starring in two series of One Night Stanza he has become a regular Radio 4 voice, contributing to programmes such as Off The Page, Word of Mouth, Adventures in Poetry and A Good Read and presenting Back to the Drawing Board and The Next Darjeeling. His latest book of poems, The Hole in the Sum of My Parts, was published by the Poetry Trust in 2005.

John Hegley: singer, poet, stand-up and an sell-out Edinburgh Festival regular who has also appeared in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Zanzibar and Luton - the small town of his upbringing. He has nine books to his name, two albums and one mug. His stage shows include his show for children, I Am A Potato. He has performed on the radio in five series of his own devising, and has also appeared on Blue Peter, and regularly on television with, amongst others, Terry Wogan, Clive Anderson and Richard and Judy.

Diana Hendry is a poet, children’s author and short story writer. She has published two collections of poems, Making Blue and Borderers (both Peterloo), two pamphlets - Twelve Lilts: Psalms & Responses (2003) and, (with Tom Pow) Sparks! (both Mariscat), also a collection for children, No Homework Tomorrow (Glowworm). A forthcoming collection, Late Love and Other Whodunnits, is due from Peterloo. Her children’s novel Harvey Angell won a Whitbread Award and a sequel Harvey Angell Beats Time (both Red Fox) won Scottish Arts Council Book Awards.

Top of Page

William Hershaw, poet, musician and teacher, was born in 1957 in Newport on Tay. He has lived most of his life in Fife and writes in both Scots and English. His first full collection was The Cowdenbeath Man (Scottish Cultural Press, 1997) and his most recent chapbook collection is Fifty Five Sonnets - Course and Fine (Akros, 2006). He works as an English teacher and also has played guitar and mandolin in the folk bands Touch the Earth and, with his sisters, Hershaws.

Jenny Joseph was born in 1932. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, lecturer in language and literature and landlady of a London pub. Her poems were first published when she was at university in the 1950s. Her first poetry collection, The Unlooked-for Season, appeared in 1960, winning a Gregory Award. In 1992 her Selected Poems were published by Bloodaxe. She has written poetry for children as well as adults, and books that combine prose and poetry. Her book Persephone (Bloodaxe, 1986) won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She has published four collections of poetry, The Adoption Papers, winner of a Forward Prize, Other Lovers, which won the Somerset Maugham Award, Off Colour, shortlisted for the 1999 TS Eliot Award, and Life Mask (2005), all published by Bloodaxe. Trumpet (Picador, 1998), her first novel, won the Guardian Fiction Prize. She has written for the stage and television and a collection of her short stories, Why Don't You Stop Talking, was published in 2002. She teaches creative writing at Newcastle University.

Mimi Khalvati was born in Tehran in 1944 and has been resident in the UK since the age of twenty-five. A poet, actress and director of plays, she co-founded the Theatre in Exile group and was Director of the Theatre Workshop in Tehran. She has published seven collections of poetry for adults and children, including Mirrorwork (Carcanet 1995), which won an Arts Council Writers' Award, and Entries on Light (Carcanet 1997 . A new collection, The Meanest Flower, will be published by Carcanet Press in 2007 : :

Malgorzata Kitowski is a poet and poemfilmmaker. She runs PoetryFilm, organising the UK's only regular screening events for the avant-garde genre of PoetryFilm. Her poetry collection Doppelgangers is published through the Heaventree Press (2005) and she is currently working on her second book. She lives and works in London. She has shown her experimental films at galleries such as the Tate Britain and the Indica / Riflemaker, and performed her writing on BBC Radio 4.

Vivian Lamarque was born in 1946 and lives in Milan. Her first collection of poetry, Teresino, won the Viareggio Award for a First Publication in 1980. She has since published Il Signore d'oro, Il Signore degli spaventati and Poesie dando del Lei, and in 1996, Una quieta polvere. She is also a translator, a journalist and a very successful children‘s writer. Fifteen collections of her short stories have been published, and she has won the Rodari Award (1997) and the Andersen Award (2000).

Michael Laskey was born in 1944. His collections include The Tightrope Wedding (1999), Permission to Breathe (2004) and New & Selected (all Smith/Doorstop Books). In 1989, he founded the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and served as its director for ten years. He is now the Festival's chairman. With Roy Blackman he founded the poetry magazine Smiths Knoll, of which he is an editor. In 2005 he was awarded an Arts Council International Writing Fellowship at the Banff Centre in Canada.

Top of Page

Frances Leviston was born in 1982 in Edinburgh and grew up in Sheffield. At St Hilda's College, Oxford she read English, before taking an MA in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2006. Her first first pamphlet collection Lighter by Mews Press was selected as Poetry Book Society Spring Pamphlet Choice in 2005 and her poems have also appeared in NewWriting 14, Ten Hallam Poets and the TLS. Her first full collection will be published by Picador in 2007.

Gwyneth Lewis was born in 1959 in Cardiff, Wales. She writes both in Welsh, her first language, and in English, and her published poetry includes Parables and Faxes (1995), which won the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize, Zero Gravity (1998) which was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and Y Llofrudd Iaith (2000) winner of the Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year Award, and most recently Keeping Mum (2003). She was named as first Welsh Poet Laureate in 2005.

Rob Mackenzie was born in Glasgow in 1964. After several years living and working in South Korea and Italy, he returned to Scotland and now lives in Edinburgh. His poem, In the Last Few Seconds, was given a commendation in the UK National Poetry Competition 2005, and his first chapbook collection, The Clown of Natural Sorrow (HappenStance Press) was published in 2005. He writes reviews for Sphinx magazine and keeps a poetry blog at

Siobhan Mac Mahon, originally from Ireland, now living in Leeds, is a poet, actor and playwright. Her most recent performance, Calling Down The Moon, has been performed at various festivals and venues. She was responsible for setting up Voices of Women, a project working with 10 female poets to explore their rich and culturally diverse voices through word, sound, movement and chorus, which was performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and at the Chapel Allerton Arts festival 2003, part of which was broadcast on BBC radio Leeds.

Aonghas Macneacail was born in 1942 in Uig on Skye. A poet, scriptwriter, broadcaster, journalist, and filmmaker, he has published collections of poems in both Gaelic and English, his writing has appeared in literary journals in Scotland and internationally; and his poetry has been broadcast on radio, television. In 1997 he won the Stakis Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year for his third collection, Oideachadh Ceart (A Proper Schooling and other poems). He has held writing fellowships at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, in Skye, Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.

Jack Mapanje was head of the Department of English at the University of Malawi when arrested in 1987 after his first book of poems, Chameleons and Gods (1981) was banned in Malawi, and was released in 1991 after more than three years in prison. His other volumes of poetry include New and Selected poems; The Last of the Sweet Bananas (Bloodaxe 2004). He received the 1988 Rotterdam Poetry International Award, and currently teaches as the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Lorraine Mariner was born in Upminster, Essex in 1974 where she still lives. She read English at Huddersfield University - where she started to write poetry - followed by Library and Information Studies at University College London. She works as a librarian at the Tate Library and Archive at Tate Britain. She has received an Arts Council England East writer’s award and her first pamphlet collection Bye for Now (Rialto) was published in 2005.

Lyn Moir grew up and was educated in Scotland and the USA. She became a Hispanist, and since the early 1980s has spent much time in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. A Hawthornden Fellow in 2004, she received a Scottish Arts Council Writer's Bursary in 2005 . Her poetry collections Me and Galileo (2001) and Breakers Yard (2003) are published by Arrowhead Press. A new collection, Velazquez's Riddle, a sequence on the painting Las Meninas ‚ and Picasso's versions of it, is to appear in late 2007.

Jonathan Morley holds an MA in Postcolonial Literature and teaches at Coventry University. He is working on the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Black British History and for a PhD at the University of Warwick. In 2002 he founded The Heaventree Press. He is a PhD researcher at the University of Warwick, studying T. S. Eliot’s influence on Caribbean literature, and has contributed extensively to the Oxford Companion to Black British History (forthcoming in 2007). He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2006 .

Top of Page

Daljit Nagra comes from a Sikh Punjabi background and was born and raised in West London and Sheffield. He currently lives in Wilsden where he works in a secondary school. His pamphlet Oh My Rub! was a Smith/Doorstop winner and also the first ever Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. His poem Look We Have Coming to Dover! won the 2004 Forward Prize for Best Individual poem. His debut collection of the same name will be published by Faber and Faber in 2007.

Sean O'Brien was born in London in 1952 and grew up in Hull. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 1979. He has published many volumes of poetry and has twice won the Forward Poetry Prize, for Ghost Train (Oxford University Press) in 1995 and Downriver (Picador 2001). A new poetry collection, Manifest, is due to be published in 2007. He also writes short stories and plays, writes for radio and is now Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. His writing for television includes several poem-films, including Strong Language (Channel 4, 1997).

Owen O'Neill, born in County Tyrone, is a writer, actor, comedian and poet. Volcano Dancing is his new book of poetry, which also includes extracts from his one-man plays. He wrote and starred in Shooting to Stardom a short film for Channel 4, adapted from his short story Night Bus, which won best film at the Cork film festival and was shown at the Sundance Film festival to critical acclaim. He won the Edinburgh Critics award for best new play in 1996 and the LWT Writers award for best comedy in 1998.

Ruth Padel was born in London in 1947. Before publishing poetry she studied classics at Oxford, Paris and Berlin. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and of the London Zoological Society, she has published six collections of poetry and won the National Poetry Prize. Her most recent collection, The Soho Leopard, (Chatto 2004) was a Poetry Book Society choice. She has published a variety of non-fiction including 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem and more recently The Poem and the Journey. She was Chair of the Poetry Society from 2003 to 2006.

Janet Paisley was born in 1948 in Essex of Scottish parents and grew up in Scotland. She is a poet, author, playwright, non-fiction and scriptwriter, writing in Scots and English. She has published four collections of poetry, most recently Ye Cannae Win (Chapman 2000). In 1996 Alien Crop (Chapman 1996) was short listed as Scottish Book of the Year and her work has been translated into Russian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish and Italian. In 2003 her fiction work Not for Glory was included in the nation’s favourite books list of 2005.

Dean Parkin was born in 1969 and after leaving school at the age of sixteen worked for a printer and then in a bookshop. He currently works for The Poetry Trust and The Rialto poetry magazine. In 2003 he was awarded a writer's bursary by Arts Council England East and he was chosen for the Arts Council England East's New Talent Scheme in 2005. He has had a poem highly commended in the Forward Anthology. His pamphlet, Irresistible to Women, now in its second edition, is published by The Garlic Press, and he is working on his second collection.

Pascale Petit was born in Paris and grew up in France and Wales. In 2004 she was selected as a Next Generation Poet. Both her second and third collections, The Zoo Father (Seren, 2001) and The Huntress (Seren, 2005), were shortlisted for the T S. Eliot Prize and were Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement. The Zoo Father was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. In 2005 she also published a prizewinning pamphlet The Wounded Deer – Fourteen poems after Frida Kahlo (Smith Doorstop).

Alexandra Petrova was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and graduated from Tartu University (Estonia). In 1994-1997 she studied History of Art at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Her first book was Liniya otryva (The Point of Departure). Her second collection Vid na zhitel’stvo (License to Live) was short-listed for the Andrey Bely Literary Prize. Her philosophical play and collection of poems have been translated into Italian. Many of her poems have been translated into Chinese, English, Hebrew and Portuguese.

Mario Petrucci lives in London. His first collection of poetry, Shrapnel and Sheets, (Headland, 1996) was selected as a Poetry Book Society recommendation. In 2002, he won the Daily Telegraph Arvon International Poetry Competition, with a book-length poem on Chernobyl, which led to the publication of Heavy Water: a poem for Chernobyl (2004), launched on the 18th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, along with its sister volume, Half Life: Poems for Chernobyl (2004). He is currently working on a new collection - Monte Cassino.

Alastair Reid was born in 1926 in Galloway. He has lived in Spain, France, Switzerland, the United States, and Central and South America, working as poet, as staff writer and South American editor of The New Yorker, and as a translator and champion of South American literature. His publications include Weathering (1978). Oases (Canongate, 1997) is a collection of prose and poetry describing his friendship and work with Neruda; and On the Blue Shore of Silence (HarperCollins, 2004) is a new selection of his translations of Neruda’s poems of the sea.

Jane Routh manages woodlands and a flock of geese in North Lancashire. She is a professional photographer. Her first collection of poetry, Circumnavigation (Smith/Doorstop, 2002) won the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition and was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize. Her second collection, Teach Yourself Mapmaking (Smith/Doorstop, 2006) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. It was also selected for the Random Acts of Poetry project.

Top of Page

Martin Solotruk was born in 1970 in Bratislava. His poetry has featured in magazines and book publications in many countries, including A Fine Line: New Poetry From Eastern and Central Europe (Arc Publications, 2004), Poetry Wales, and Poesie Festival Berlin 2006, and his poetry collections include Silent Wars (1997), which won the Slovak Literary Fund Best Debut Award, Grinding (2001), and Plankton of Gravity (2006). He is also a Director of Ars Poetica International, a poetry festival and publishing house (

Alan Spence was born in Glasgow in and is now based in Edinburgh where he and his wife run the Chinmoy Meditation Centre. A poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer, in 1996 he won the McVitie prize for Scottish Writer of the Year. He has published several collections of haiku, including Glasgow Zen (1981), Seasons of the Heart (2000) and Clear Light (2005), all published by Canongate. His most recent novel is The Pure Land (2006) also from Canongate. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen.

Mark Strand, former United States Poet Laureate, was born on Canada's Prince Edward Island in 1934, and was raised and educated in the United States and South America. He is the author of ten books of poems, including Blizzard of One (Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), which won the Pulitzer Prize; Dark Harbor (1993); The Continuous Life (1990); Selected Poems (1980); The Story of Our Lives (1973); and Reasons for Moving (1968). He has also published two books of prose, several volumes of translation, monographs on contemporary artists, and three books for children.

Peter Sulej was born in Slovakia in 1967. Educated at the Technical University, Košice, he is a poet and editor who has produced six volumes of poetry and well as writing fiction. His works have been translated primarily into Polish but also Czech, Hungarian, Slovene, Chroatian, French, Spanish, German and English . He has been Technical Director of the Ars Poetica Festival since 2002.

George Szirtes was born in 1948 in Budapest and came to England as a refugee in 1956. He trained as a painter in London and Leeds, and is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, including Reel (Bloodaxe 2004), for which he won the TS Eliot prize. He has also produced many works of translation, books for children, plays, musicals, opera libretti and oratorios, as well as works for the radio. He teaches Creative Writing at Norwich School of Art and Design and the University of East Anglia.

Eoghan Walls is completing a PhD at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at the Queen’s University, Belfast. Over the last ten years he has taught English in Germany, Belfast and rural Rwanda. He has published poems in various journals throughout Britain and Ireland including Orbis, Fortnight, The Stinging Fly and NW14. The Naming of the Rat was published in New Writers 14 (Granta Books, 2006). He is currently working on his first collection, Silverfish. He won an Eric Gregory award in 2006.

Jane Yeh was born in America and educated at Harvard, Iowa and Manchester Metropolitan universities. Her book Marabou (Carcanet, 2005) was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. Her pamphlet, Teen Spies, was published in 2003 by Metre Editions. She is a lecturer at Kingston University and a freelance writer, writing for the Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review and Time Out New York.

Others Featured

Alan Bold, Scottish poet, biographer, journalist, artist, also translator and novelist, Bold was born in Edinburgh in 1943 and died in 1998. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, and produced illuminated versions of some of his own poems. In 1988 he wrote MacDiarmid, a definitive biography of his friend Hugh MacDiarmid, with whose politics he sympathised, and whose letters he edited. His other publications include, Society Inebrious (Mowat Hamilton 1965), A Perpetual Motion Machine (Chatto & Windus 1969), A Lunar Event (Keepsake Press 1973), and, as editor, The Penguin Book of Socialist Verse (Penguin 1970), and Modern Scottish Literature (Longman 1983), an overview.

Robin Cairns , poet, musician, artist, and journalist grew up in Clydebank. He abandoned further education after nine weeks in favour of going to London to be a punk rocker, where he played in bands, and worked, amongst other things, as a bingo caller, gardener, screen printer and paste-up and mural artist. He began writing poetry on Millennium night and began performing his poetry in 2003, performing in slams, comedy clubs, ceilidhs, a fire festival and Lord Elgin's country house. His poems have been published here and there, and some are available for purchase printed on an attractive range of t-shirts and dish cloths. He currently lives in Glasgow.

Aimée Chalmers , currently a PhD student at The University of St Andrews, is editor of The Singin Lass: Selected Work of Marion Angus (Polygon, August 2006). She has written for community radio and television. Her published work includes essays, short stories and poems in magazines and anthologies, and she won the Scots Language Society’s Robert McLennan Tassie in 2004. Like Marion, she is from ‘the cauld east countrie’, came late to creative writing and uses Scots in her poetry and prose.

Richard Ingham is a saxophone soloist and member of the Northern Saxophone Quartet and Tribune Octet. Professor of Woodwind at Leeds College of Music and Visiting Professor of Jazz at the University of St Andrews, he has released several albums. His recent works include: Peter and the RTO for narrator and orchestra (nominated for the British Composer Awards), in collaboration with author Alexander McCall Smith; From Pennan to Penang - suite for soprano saxophone and accordion; and St Andrews Suite for jazz orchestra.

Robert Alan Jamieson was born in 1958 on Shetland. He co-edited Edinburgh Review from 1993 until 1998, and was Writer-in-Residence at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, 1998-2001. His third novel 'A Day at the Office' (1991) was among The List's '100 Best Scottish Books'; other publications include poetry pamphlets in Shetlandic Scots, 'Nort Atlantik Drift'(1999), and 'Ansin t'Sjaetlin: some responses to the language question'(2005) which has been translated into sixteen languages. He teaches creative writing at the University of Edinburgh.

Chris Jones is Lecturer in English Poetry at the University of St. Andrews. Before coming to St. Andrews he spent several years teaching English as a foreign language in Rome, Berlin and Oxford . He won the Review of English Studies Essay Prize for 2001, for his article 'Unchained daimons: Auden and the "barbaric poetry of the north'. In 2000 he co-founded The Red Wheelbarrow poetry magazine, and in 2005 he performed Chaucer's The Miller's Tale at StAnza. His book Strange Likeness: The Use of Old English in Twentieth-century Poetry (2006) is published by Oxford University Press.

Dick Lee lives in Edinburgh. He is a composer, arranger, producer, as well as being a performer on clarinet, saxophone and recorder. He plays an eclectic mix of music with all kinds of ensembles, from to folk and jazz to 20th century classical, and clarinet and accordion music from around the world. In August 2006 he gave performances of his children’s show, Musical Pairs, every weekend lunchtime in the Imagination Tent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Bernard MacLaverty was born in Belfast in 1942 and moved to Scotland in 1975, where he now lives in Glasgow. He is a member of Aosdana in Ireland and is Visiting Writer/Professor at the University of Strathclyde. Currently he is employed as a teacher of creative writing on a postgraduate course in prose fiction run by the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen. He has published five collections of short stories and four novels, and written radio, television and screen plays.

Will Maclean , born in Inverness in 1941, is one of Scotland's most distinguished artists. He has made a major contribution to the visual arts in Scotland, and has exhibited at home and abroad. His work now features in many national and international collections. He is a Member of the Royal Scottish Academy and of The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, and his awards include - Scottish Arts Council Award ; Scottish Education Trust Bursary; Civic Trust Award; National Heritage Award; Spirit of Scotland Award; and a Creative Scotland Award. He is currently Research Professor of the Visual Research Centre at the University of Dundee.

Michael Marra , singer and song writer, was born in Dundee in 1952. He formed his first band, Hen's Teeth, in 1971. By the mid-seventies Michael was a professional musician with Dundee rock legends Skeets Boliver, After four years of touring, relocation to London and three singles, he embarked on a solo career. H is first solo album was The Midas Touch (1980). Since then he has also worked in theatre, on television and toured around the world. He also works as a producer and collaborator with other artists.

Kenny Munro, a freelance arts educator and sculptor, was born in Edinburgh in1954. He studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London and promotes the role of the arts at the centre of community life as an empowering catalyst. Many of his multidisciplinary projects and artworks interpret the Geddes Grid ‘thinking machines’ and philosophy. His projects include Evergreen (a homage to Sir Patrick Geddes) the Stones of Scotland, and the Song of the Rickshaw.

Edward O’Donnelly was born in Hamilton in 1955. He studied painting and printmaking at Bath Academy of Art and Cyprus School of Art. From the mid 1986 to 97 he produced and taught animation with Edinburgh Film Workshop. For 5 years he directed and produced for the series Dealbhan Beo (Living Pictures) within Gaelic Medium Schools for BBC ALBA. Since 1998, living on the Isle of Arran, he has developed and been involved in a wide range of arts projects both personally and within education. He produces work in a range of mediums influenced by maritime themes.

Gael Turnbull (1928-2004) started Migrant Press in 1957 promoting the work of other poets. He spent most of his working life as a doctor in England, Canada and the United States, and published numerous books and pamphlets, among them Transmutations (Shoestring Press, 1997), A Rattle of Scree (Akros, 1997) and Might a shape of words (Mariscat, 2000). He spent much of his latter years putting together and demonstrating his unique kinetic poetry structures which featured at several StAnza festivals.

Back to top of page

Back to AfterWords



You are viewing the StAnza Poetry Festival 2005-2014 archive
For the current festival site, go to