Scotland’s international poetry festival ends on a high as organisers hail 25th festival huge success

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StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival which is held in St Andrews, has ended on a high with organisers hailing the 25th festival a huge success.

StAnza 2022 celebrated Scotland’s Year of Stories and launched with an opening night extravaganza which featured a selection of headline poets, including Edinburgh’s Makar Hannah Lavery, as well as music from Don Paterson.

The sell out event, which was also live streamed online, started with a hybrid poetry reading including 15 poets split between the Byre Theatre and Zoom.

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Ukrainian poet, Lyuba Yakimchuk, at StAnza 2022. Pic: David Vallis Photography.Ukrainian poet, Lyuba Yakimchuk, at StAnza 2022. Pic: David Vallis Photography.
Ukrainian poet, Lyuba Yakimchuk, at StAnza 2022. Pic: David Vallis Photography.

Among the highlights of this year’s programme was Translation in Focus: Beyond Any Curtain, showcasing poetry and translations between Scotland and Ukraine.

Despite the worsening crisis in Ukraine, the event was able to go ahead, and made even more incredible by one poet managing to make the journey to Scotland from the war-torn country to appear in person.

Lyuba Yakimchuk, who arrived in Scotland on Wednesday from Ukraine, said: “On Sunday I left Kyiv to get here, it was challenging and very painful as there are a lot of refugees leaving. I crossed the border between Ukraine and Poland on foot.

“When you feel like you have to leave your country over shelling, it’s a very painful experience. Pregnant ladies, with babies and toddlers even were all trying to leave - they are civilian targets.

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"It’s unacceptable, we didn’t do anything to deserve this experience.”

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