StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, has announced some of the headline voices for next year’s 21st anniversary festival ahead of National Poetry Day on Thursday 28th September. The annual festival will take place from Wednesday 7th March until Sunday 11th March in the Fife town of St Andrews.
StAnza Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone said: "Next year’s festival is a significant milestone for StAnza which held its very first festival twenty years ago in 1998. We’re delighted to be welcoming some of the biggest names from the literary world and friends of StAnza old and new to St Andrews to celebrate our special anniversary year.
“Over the last twenty years we have endeavoured to bring together a diverse mix of well known talent with new, up and coming poets to create a programme which is fresh and vibrant. This year we have pulled out all the stops to put together a programme which is truly fitting of such an exciting year for StAnza and we look forward to revealing more names over the coming months."
Among the headline poets appearing at next year's annual festival is Sinéad Morrissey, who last week won the prestigious Forward Prize for Poetry and is a former Belfast Poet Laureate and T.S. Eliot prize winner. She is joined by former Scots Makar Liz Lochhead and Scottish poet and jazz musician Don Paterson who will be in conversation with Marie-Elsa Bragg, daughter of Melvyn Bragg. Also on the programme for 2018 is Gillian Allnutt, who was awarded The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry earlier this year, Tara Bergin, winner of the Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize in 2014 and up and coming Scottish poet William Letford.
Sasha de Buyl, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland added: “StAnza has established itself as one of Europe’s leading showcases of contemporary poetry over the last twenty years. Since its inception in 1998, StAnza has continually offered a diverse programme of world class contemporary poetry to growing audiences of all ages, celebrating some of the most exciting local and international names in poetry and nurturing emerging talent.”
StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. Next year’s themes are The Self and Borderlines. StAnza will also have a focus on young people as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People.
Dozens of poets will be taking part in StAnza, along with many musicians, visual artists and filmmakers bringing the historic Fife town of St Andrews alive with poetry, music and art for five days in March.