Barbara Dickson to launch StAnza

Barbara Dickson will officially open StAnza 2018
Barbara Dickson will officially open StAnza 2018

StAnza organisers have announced that the 21st festival will be launched by Barbara Dickson.

The Fife singer-songwriter and Olivier Award winning actress will officially open StAnza 2018 as well as sing at this year’s special gala opening night event.

Eleanor Livingstone, Festival director, said: “We’re delighted that tickets are now on sale for this year’s festival which will be officially opened by the wonderful Barbara Dickson. The Fife singer-songwriter and actress will sing at StAnza’s special opening night gala performance to launch the 21st festival.

“The countdown is now well and truly on for StAnza 2018 which will see internationally acclaimed poets from Scotland, the UK and overseas descend on St Andrews, Fife, for five days in March to celebrate all things poetical.”

The opening night gala performance, featuring a selection of headline poets reading and performing, intertwined with music, film and art will launch the five-day festival. StAnza runs from March 7-11, with a line-up including internationally acclaimed poets from all over the world.

Among the headline poets appearing at this year’s annual festival is Sinéad Morrissey, who recently 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.

Also on the programme is Gillian Allnutt, who was awarded The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry last year, Tara Bergin, winner of the Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize in 2014, and Scottish poet William Letford.

Performing for the first time at StAnza is Mark Ford, a regular contributor to the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and the New York Review of Books. Mark was awarded the Poetry Foundation’s 2015 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism.

This year’s festival themes are Borderlines and The Self. Borderlines will examine how poetry can respond to and engage with a world connected through culture but divided on maps while the second theme will consider issues around the presence or absence of The Self in poetry and how this engages with the physical and mental self as well as with the political and personal self.

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online at www.stanzapoetry.org/festival.