Samantha Emily Evans, one of the members of the StAnza planning committee, shares with us her Top 5 poetry events happening at StAnza 2016, March 2-6, that are free, full of young poets, or just too good to miss. 


StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, starts Wednesday, March 2nd. Renowned poets from all over the world are arriving this week to wander the beautiful streets of St Andrews, and recite their poetry. Do not miss out on this incredible experience, and do not worry if you do not know the poets and their work. Once you see them, you will know their work. At least, that is my logic.


  1. Poetry Centre Stage on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

8pm in the Byre Theatre



Do not miss out on these incredible readings. I never bother to read their poems before hand, I just go along and experience them, and they always astound me. I walk away feeling I know a little bit more of life, and understanding why they needed a whole hour to perform their poems. Some big names are coming this year – Matthew Sweeney from Ireland, Nora Gomringer from Germany, Lemn Sissay who is the official poet at the FA cup final – as well as one of our very own School of English staff, Don Patterson. He teaches the class on British Contemporary Poetry, and he is also in the textbook.


  1. Student Poetry Showcase

9:45pm in the Byre Bar on Wednesday, March 2nd.


Do you write poetry? Or have a friend who writes poetry? Come and perform, or come and listen! Get a drink (10% off with student ID), and listen to the next generation of writers that also happen to be your peers.


  1. The StAnza Slam

10:15pm in the Byre Theatre, March 5th.


One of the highlights of the festival and a touchstone of the Scottish slam scene, come check out the StAnza Slam. The host of the night is Scott Tyrrell, who holds the titles both for the BBC Poetry Slam and the UK Anti-Slam, and is also an award-winning comedian. It is sure to be a hilarious and fun night.

There are still a few slots available to perform, so email your name, email address, and mobile number to Places are limited.


  1. London Laureates Showcase

1pm in St Andrews Town Hall, March 6th.


The London Laureates, a collective name for the poets shortlisted for the role of Young Poet Laureate for London (a position awarded annually to a poet aged between 21 and 30 living in London), will be performing. Selina Nwulu, the current Young Poet Laureate, as well as two of her fellow London Poets, Zia Ahmed and Harriet Creelman, will be performing. Come check out these vibrant new poets!


  1. Festival Finale

10pm in the Byre Theatre, March 6th.


Even if you were too busy, or stuck in the library, come along and party at the Finale. The Blueswater, a rhythm and blues group who draw their inspiration specifically from the Chicago blues style of Chess records, building guitar riffs, and harmonica solos, will be diving in the Byre Bar. It is free! So come and use your student card for 10% discount, or if you volunteer at the festival – that free drink voucher – and have a dance!



Samantha Emily Evans