StAnza Poetry Festival 2021 ‘Bold’ and ‘Inventive’

The Covid19 pandemic has illuminated the importance of culture as a positive force for our wellbeing. Events last year went online and it will be the same this year.

StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, 2021 will be online. Click on this link to explore details: StAnza Scotland’s Poetry Festival

The 2021 programme includes poets from Orkney, South Uist and the Isle of Lewis.

Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said:

“We’re delighted to be hosting such an exciting delegation of poets from the Scottish Isles to perform at StAnza’s online, hybrid festival. The festival traditionally has a strong international focus and this year’s programme is no different featuring acclaimed poets from over 25 countries from both here in Scotland and all around the world.”

The Poets

Andrew Greig

Andrew Greig has published over twenty books of poetry, non-fiction and novels, mostly about being alive. A full time writer, married to novelist Lesley Glaister, he lives in Edinburgh and Orkney. His most recent collection, Later That Day, appeared with Birlinn in 2020. He is given to banjo playing.

Lydia Harris

Lydia Harris has made her home in the Orkney island of Westray. She held a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award for Poetry in 2017. Her first pamphlet, Glad Not to be the Corpse, appeared in 2012, and she has had work in a number of journals and magazines. Her fourth pamphlet, A Small Space, is due to be published by Paper Swans Press in spring 2021.

Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul

Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul (Angus Peter Campbell) is from South Uist. His Gaelic novel An Oidhche Mus Do Sheòl Sinn was publicly voted as one of the Top Ten Best-Ever Books from Scotland in the Orange/List Magazine Awards in 2007. His bilingual (Gàidhlig/English) poetry collection Aibisidh won the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award in 2011 and his English-language novel Memory and Straw the Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year in 2017. He was also nominated for a Scottish Bafta Best Actor Award for playing the lead role in the Gaelic film Seachd.

Padraig MacAoidh

Padraig MacAoidh (Peter Mackay) is a native Gaelic speaker born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis. He is a poet, broadcaster, journalist and a lecturer in Literature at the University of St Andrews. He has two collections of poetry, Gu Leòr / Galore (Acair, 2015) and Nàdur De / Some Kind Of (Acair, 2020). He is also the co-editor, with Iain S. MacPherson, of An Leabhar Liath: 500 Years of Gaelic Love and Transgressive Verse. He lives in Edinburgh.

Viccy Adams, Literature Officer, Creative Scotland, commented that contemporary poetry in Scotland is a thriving, multi-lingual space which welcomes new voices as well as celebrating the achievements of established poets.

She said:

“StAnza’s inventive and considerate programming offers something of interest to many communities, both at home and abroad, and the 2021 Festival will give us all a chance to escape briefly the ongoing implications of the pandemic, explore from our armchairs and enjoy the thrills of poetry in different languages, forms and collaborations.

“Creative Scotland is delighted to once again be supporting the Festival to bring the boldest and the most poignant voices of different generations together.”

Make It New – No Rhyme nor Reason

StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. This year’s themes are fittingly ‘Make It New’ and ‘No Rhyme nor Reason’. In recent years StAnza has introduced a dedicated language focus to the festival programme.

‘Beyond the Iron Curtain’, will be on languages from the former Eastern bloc in recognition of 2021 as the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The festival will include traditional StAnza favourites such as readings and round table events, and new events to capture the full potential of the digital realm, including interactive poetry installations, ‘At Home’ events with poets and an enhanced filmpoem and sound poem programme.

The programme will also include a series of installations which can be enjoyed by those with little or no access to the internet. More than 100 poets will take part in around 50 events over nine days.

StAnza is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. Events are free but ticketed and places can be secured online. StAnza Festival 2021

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