Whaur the only bling in sicht wis the sparkle of their talent

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The Scottish poetry warld’s version o Cannes in this temporary village o poets whaur the only bling in sicht wis the sparkle of their talent. ~ Irene Broon, Scots Tung Wittins

StAnza 2013 launches tonight and will be held in diverse venues around St Andrews town centre from 6-10 March. More than 70 poets will be appearing in over 100 events, along with artists, writers, musicians and actors in what promises to be the most innovative festivals ever. The line-up includes two poet laureates, Scotland’s own Liz Lochhead and her Welsh counterpart Gillian Clarke as well as leading poets from from than a dozen countries worldwide. This year’s theme of Legacy and Place was chosen to celebrate the University’s 600th anniversary.

Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone says: ‘There’s something for all tastes and every interest in this festival. As well as celebrating Scottish poetry, we are bringing to St Andrews and to Scotland, exciting voices from around the world to take part along with leading poets and academics from the University.”

  • Emeritus Professor Douglas Dunn tutors an all-day poetry workshop at Balmungo House in association with the Barns-Graham Trust, Tuesday 5th March (all sold out).
  • This year’s festival launch event on Wednesday 6th March at 7.00pm with feature music from the University’s Buchanan Scholarship Quartet. And later that evening, at 10.00pm in Aikman’s Bar, StAnza presents a showcase of lively late night poetry from Inklight, the university’s students’ creative writing society.
  • On Thursday 7th March, David Evans, a senior lecturer in French at the university, talks about his interests in Baudelaire and other French poets from the past, together with Chris Stone, a recent graduate of the university, now studying for a PhD in England, who will talk about the legacy of Milton and John Donne.
  • In association with the School of English, The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy, Friday 8th March at 11.30am in the Council Chamber. Robert Crawford and Don Paterson, two of today’s legendary St Andrews poets, recreate the famous flyting of the two St Andrews legendary poets from the past, and their colleague from the School of English, Rhiannon Purdie, gives some context to this.
  • Harry Giles graduated from St Andrews in 2009. As a student at St Andrews he used to deliver poetry theatre for StAnza. Now a published poet, he returns as a participant in the Friday lunchtime Poetry Cafe event at the Town Hall.
  • On Sunday 10th March, John Burnside leads this year’s StAnza Masterclass to critique poems submitted on the theme of poetry and nature and the environment. (Also sold out)

StAnza’s Digital Map of St Andrews project, which will be officially launched at this year’s festival, is a collaboration with the School of Computer Science, and current Dean of Science, Alan Dearle and his colleagues, with whom StAnza are working on the creation of a digital poetry map of the town featuring audio recordings of poems by poets past and present who have lived worked or studied in the town, accessible on a website and also directly via a smart phone at locations around town connected to the poems.

Read more from the bloggers of StAnza here and do join the StAnza poets for the most international festival of Scottish Poetry in Scotland this week.