St Andrews festival has a way with words

Ian Dhig, who will be at StAnza 2015.
Ian Dhig, who will be at StAnza 2015.

Poetry lovers will be marking out dates in their calendars for next March following StAnza’s announcement of the headline names for the festival.

And in keeping with the five-day poetry extravaganza’s title as Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, the event continues to attract poets and other performers from across the globe, including from New Zealand, America and France.

StAnza traditionally focuses on two interwearving themes to give each annual festival its own unique flavour.

Next year’s themes will be Unfinished Business and An Archipelago of Poetry.

The first examines how the written word deals with the issue of unfinished business as well as ways in which poetry itself is often a work in progress.

The second theme embraces poetry which comes from islands and things coastal or tidal, while also considering how poets and poetry festivals or organisations exist not only as individual islands, but rather as part of an extensive international ‘Archipelago of Poetry’.

Among the big names from the literary world to perform at the annual festival are Simon Armitage and New Zealand’s first Poet Laureate Bill Manhire, along with three poets who will be making their first appearance at StAnza, American poet Alice Notley, Sinéad Morrissey, currently Belfast’s Poet Laureate, and Ian Duhig.

StAnza 2015 will be from Wednesday, March 4, to Sunday, March 8.

Speaking ahead of National Poetry Day yesterday (Thursday), festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: “It is fantastic to be revealing such a diverse and talented line up of headline acts who will no doubt make StAnza 2015 the vibrant festival full of surprises which our audiences have come to expect.

“We are delighted to be announcing such a strong line-up of literary talent to headline next year’s festival and look forward to revealing further details of our exciting 2015 programme over the coming months.”

More than 60 poets will be taking part at StAnza in St Andrews, along with many musicians, visual artists and film makers bringing the historic Fife town alive with poetry, music and art.

Founded in 1998, StAnza is Scotland’s only festival dedicated purely to poetry and has continued to grow in strength and attract an international following both among poets and visitors.