Mischief and magic to delight St Andrews poetry festival’s younger fans

Youngsters at last year's StAnza Festival. (Picture: Dave Scott)
Youngsters at last year's StAnza Festival. (Picture: Dave Scott)

A top writer will be bringing a touch of mischief and magic to the StAnza Poetry Festival next month.

The long-running international festival has always catered for young poetry fans and the 2017 programme will feature prize-winning novelist and former Edinburgh makar Ron Butlin with his first book for children, Here Come the Trolls.

StAnza festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: “At StAnza we pride ourselves in delivering a varied, dynamic programme which includes something for everyone, even the youngest poetry fans. We’re delighted to have Ron Butlin joining us this year with his magical show, Here Come the Trolls.”

Also on this year’s children’s programme is GeoBus, an educational outreach project supporting Earth science learning in schools in the UK. The project was developed by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews in 2012.

As part of StAnza’s The Heights of Poetry theme for 2017, GeoBus ran a poetry competition in schools for haiku inspired by mountains and the installation presents winning and commended poems.

There is also a programme of school workshops and projects across Fife.

Aly Barr, acting head of literature, languages and publishing at Creative Scotland, said: “StAnza has cemented its place as one of the foremost poetry festivals in the world.

“Its programme brings poets of all styles from all nations to a five-day-long poetry oasis in Fife. I’d recommend all thirsty readers and listeners travel along and drink deep.”

The festival is supported by EventScotland, apart of VisitScotland.

Stuart Turner, head of EventScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting StAnza again this year, through EventScotland’s national programme.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and in StAnza we have a festival that truly engages its audience, which is testament to the hard work of Eleanor and her team. With a number of performances, readings workshops and talks there is undoubtedly something for everyone.”

StAnza is on from March 1-5 and features around 100 events, many of them free.

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online.

Full are online at StAnza’s website or call the box office on 01334 475000.