StAnza set to celebrate 20th poetry festival

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StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival, has revealed the headliners for its 20th year.

Among the big names from the literary world heading to perform in St Andrews in March 2017 are Jackie Kay, Scotland’s new Makar; Robert Crawford, poet, critic, biographer and professor at the University of St Andrews, and Jim Carruth, who was appointed Poet Laureate for Glasgow in 2014.

Eleanor Livingstone, StAnza festival director, said: “We’re thrilled to have so many fantastic poets already confirmed for 2017.”

StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give every annual festival its own unique twist.

One of next year’s theme – On the Road – showcases poetry inspired and reflecting on travel and migration.

The other theme – the Heights of Poetry – looks at how poetry engages with Scotland’s connections between the country’s hills and mountains and those elsewhere in the country.

And following the success of 2016’s focus on German poetry and culture, 2017 will have a dedicated focus on French – titled La Nouvelle Alliance.

It will see various French speaking poets take part along with other events with a French connection.

“Next year will be our 20th festival which will be an exciting anniversary,” Eleanor said. “We plan to celebrate this and move into our third decade with a festival to remember including a special project to be launched in March.

“We look forward to revealing more details of the full programme, which is fitting of such a significant milestone, in the coming months.”

Over 60 poets will be taking part, along with many musicians, visual artists and film makers for five days from March 1-5.

The spring festival is made up not only of poetry but includes performances and installations linking poetry to music, film and dance.

Featured in the line-up is Vahni Capildeo, winner of this year’s Forward Prize; Scottish poets James McGonigal and A.B. Jackson; T.S. Elliot prizewinners Sarah Howe and Alice Oswald; Zambian poet Kayo Chingonyi, and children’s writer John Agard.

The full programme can be found at