Archive | June, 2012

The StAnza Digital Slam is now open for entries!

29 Jun

Join StAnza’s Digital Slam, starting today!

Yes, that’s right, our online slam competition is open for entries, so that poets from everywhere can join in and audiences can sample the performances and vote for the winner. If you missed out on StAnza’s famous live slam and open mic events at the festival in March, now’s your chance to get involved. We are running this event using all our social media platforms and centred on the StAnza Blog.

We are now open entries from today until  6th July.

To enter, all you have to do is supply an audio or video file of yourself performing your poem. Upload it onto YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, AudioBoo or other online platform. Then send the URL to our designated email address [….].

Your clip should be of a single poem and should last no more than 3 minutes.

Our judges will then make a shortlist and these entries will be posted on the StAnza Blog for the online audience to view and then cast their votes, using our dedicated voting link. Voting will be from midday 13th to midday 16th July. The winner will be announced on 16th July after the polls close. The winning performance will be showcased on our platforms on 20th July and we will include a second clip by the winner.

You can follow this event on Twitter via @StAnzaPoetry and/or #DigitalSlam

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The StAnza Digital Slam: open for entries 29th June

22 Jun

There’s just a week to go before the entry period opens for StAnza’s Digital Slam, so get your video and audio clips ready for this unique online competition. Here’s a reminder of how the slam will work: 

To enter, all you have to do is record an audio/video file of your poetry performance and upload it onto YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, AudioBoo or other online platform. Then send a URL to our designated email address, which we will make available from 29th June to 6th July.  Like in live slams, there is a time limit for the performance, so your file should not last more than three minutes.

Our judges will then make a shortlist and these entries will be posted on the StAnza blog for the digital audience to view and then cast their votes, using our dedicated voting link. Voting will be from midday 13 to midday 16 July. The winner will be announced on 20 July. 

Follow this event on Twitter via @StAnzaPoetry and/or #DigitalSlam

 

 

World Poetry Summit

19 Jun

 The World Poetry Summit takes place on Tuesday 26th June at the Southbank in London, as part of their Poetry Parnassus festival.  StAnza’s Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone is taking part in a session entitled Unlimited Possibilities: e-Poetry and Virtual Festivals, Literature in the Digital Era. That this coincides with the build-up to StAnza’s first Digital Slam via Twitter and other online media, is not so much a coincidence as an indication of how involved StAnza is with digital media nowadays. This is just the latest project which follows on our use of digital media at our spring festival in March, including a Skyped contribution from Shetland at one panel discussion, and the live streaming of four further events during the festival.

The speakers at the World Poetry event next Tuesday also include Alvin Pang from Singapore and Nikola Madzirov from Macedonia, a StAnza 2012 poet, and the event will be Chaired by Sarah Ellis, the Digital Producer at the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Further programme details are as follows:

Unlimited Possibilities: e-Poetry and Virtual Festivals – Literature in the Digital Era

Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall

12 noon – 1pm

The description for the event encourages people to: “Find out about some of the most exciting digital projects ranging from animoetry to translation collaborations and Silent Poetry Slams to virtual festivals.” And Unlimited Possibilities: e-Poetry and Virtual Festivals, Literature in the Digital Era is just one event in a day-long programme at the World Poetry Summit, which also has sessions on topics such as elitism in poetry, and translation. Full details can be found online at the Poetry Parnassus website.

Jubilee Lines

17 Jun

There’s much to enjoy in Faber and Faber’s new anthology, Jubilee Lines – 60 Poets for 60 Years, edited by Carol Ann Duffy.  Each of the last 60 years is represented by one poem and one poet, many of them very familiar names. Just four poems in, for 1956 there’s Class Photograph from Douglas Dunn, looking back at “pensioners in disguise”. And the roll call from StAnza 2012 just past includes Grace Nichols (1965), Christopher Reid offering “The Clearing for 1969, followed by John Burnside (1981), Robert Crawford (1984), Lachlan Mackinnon (1988), Michael Symmons Roberts (1996), Don Paterson (1997), Jackie Kay (1999) and Lavinia Greenlaw (2001).  

To accompany the book, Faber and Faber have collaborated with  Somethin’ Else and The Space to produce a groundbreaking interactive digital platform, which brings together actors’ readings, sound-based generative design and archive footage to create an exciting new way to experience poetry. At its heart are audio readings of the poems in Jubilee Lines, read evocatively by distinguished actors Dan Stevens, Samantha Bond, Lyndsey Marshal and Alex Lanipekun. Graphic designer Stefanie Posavec has produced visualisations of the audio readings using generative design techniques. Derived from characteristics such as the length of the recording and its decibel level, she has created unique artworks for each of the 60 poems.

The twenty poems that most vividly evoke our collective memory are enhanced with rich archive material, including film footage and audio uncovered in the BBC and British Movietone archives, as well as newspapers, adverts and photographs. It includes many items transferred from telecine for the first time, with material that ranges from the iconic (Michael Fish’s weather report in 1987), to the unseen (Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova preparing for her first space flight in 1963), and from the jubilant (children eagerly awaiting the end of sweet rationing in 1953) to the turbulent (miners clashing with police during the strike in 1984).

We are invited to navigate the poems by year, by poet, through archive or by theme (eg. remembrance, identity, vigilance), plotting your own path through 60 years of history, by going to their website at  www.jubileelines.com

(NB  at the time of posting this the link doesn’t seem to be working, we have let them know.)

Get ready for the StAnza Digital Slam! Starting 29 June

15 Jun

During StAnza back in March, one of our followers on Twitter commented that it would have been nice to have been able to attend our Open Mic in person and to make up for it, sent us a poem online.

The festival has a reputation for developing ideas for online events. With a Skype slam and a day-long digital festival, Distant Voices, in our back catalogue, the opportunity had come to try something new and different. Out of one small tweet, an idea was born.

While the Olympic torch was wending its way through Scotland this week, we thought we should get into the spirit of things and launch a competition for poetic champions, such as our friend on Twitter, to take part in. So StAnza is holding a brand new digital slam competition to start on 29th June. There’s plenty of time to polish those poems and limber up the vocal chords for our online alternative to traditional open mics and slams.

We will be announcing more details nearer the time, but here’s an outline of what’s involved – as competitions go, it’s unique:

To enter, all you have to do is record an audio/video file of your poetry performance and upload it onto YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, AudioBoo or other online platform. Then send a URL to our designated email address, which we will make available from 29th June to 6th July.  So put that date in your calendar.

Our judges will then make a shortlist and these entries will be posted on the StAnza blog for the online audience to view and then cast their votes, using our dedicated voting link. Voting will be from midday 13 to midday 16 July. The winner will be announced on 16 July and we will post the winning recording on our blog, along with a second one on 20 July. In the spirit of slams the world over, we will award a mystery prize that will be of little monetary value but totally covetable. And we will showcase the winner’s two recordings on all our other media platforms.

We’ll post full entry details – rules and stuff – next week, so keep checking the blog and our social media!

You can follow this event on Twitter via @StAnzaPoetry and/or #DigitalSlam and Facebook

Poetry Parnassus

10 Jun

It’s not all going to be sport in London this summer. The Southbank Centre are hosting Poetry Parnassus from 26th June to 1st July, the UK’s largest ever gathering of the world’s poets. If you are going to be in or near London later this month, be sure not to miss this huge turn out of poets from across the globe – more than 200 and as far as possible one to represent every olympic country – as they give readings and masterclass workshops. The line up includes big names such as Simon Armitage, Seamus Heaney and Wole Soyinka along with many others from far and near who have taken the StAnza stage, such as Nikola Madzirov from Macedonia and Tusiata Avia from Samoa who both took part in StAnza 2012, two of our previous Poets in Residence, Kei Miller representing Jamaica and Bill Manhire from New Zealand; and from earlier festivals Canada’s Karen Solie, Soleiman Adel Guemar from Algeria, Yang Lian (China), Pia Tadrupf (Denmark), Jack Mapanje (Malawi), Imtiaz Dharker (Pakistan) and Jo Shapcott representing Britain. You can see the list of some of those already chosen here .  More names have been added recently to that list, however the Poetry Parnassus team are still looking for suggestions for a few more countries, such as Liechtenstein, so if anyone has any ideas, they’d be pleased to hear them.  There will be the chance to get involved with over 100 free events and activities, full details of which can be found on the Poetry Parnassus website. The programme includes on Tuesday 26th June a World Poetry Summit at which StAnza’s director Eleanor Livingstone will be taking part to talk about StAnza’s digital festivals and events.

Tusiata Avia at StAnza 2012 (photo by Al Buntin)

StAnza 2011 poet Natasha Trethewey appointed US Poet Laureate

7 Jun

Natasha Trethewey: Photo image © Matt Valentine

StAnza folk were delighted to hear that Natasha Trethewey has been appointed US Poet Laureate. Natasha appeared at StAnza 2011 and her elegant, passionate poetry was a highlight of last year’s memorable festival. She teaches creative writing at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia and previous plaudits include the Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection,  Native Guard, which explored the impact of the Civil War.  The Mississippi-born African-American poet is currently poet laureate of  that state. She is a chronicler of the American South, and her recent work includes a non-fiction book, Beyond Katrina, A Meditation on the Gulf Coast. Her poetry touches upon the personal and political and this comment by James H Billington of the Library of Congress (the body which appoints the Poet Laureate) sums her impact the best. ‘Her poems dig beneath the surface of history — personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago — to explore the human struggles that we all face.’ You can hear her reading a poem at StAnza here

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