Archive | November, 2012

Poetry Café reprise with Robin Cairns

28 Nov

Robin Cairns at StAnza 2012 (photo by John Starr)

As the St Andrews Festival continues, on Friday 30th – St Andrews Day itself – as part of the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival, StAnza are collaborating with Food from Fife on a lunchtime Poetry Café session, Wake Up and Smell the Stovies, with the irrepressible performance poet Robin Cairns offering his brand of tasty bites to give the session a special poetic savour. This is another free event, this time in the Supper Room at the Town Hall in Queens Gardens, starting at around 1.00pm.

And it’s not only the St Andrews Festival this week, it’s also Book Week Scotland, the first national celebration of books and reading (26th November – 2nd December 2012). Glasgow is hosting the first Book Week Scotland Pop-up Festival on Saturday 1 December at the Mitchell Library, with a packed programme for all ages, and a 2 for 1 offer* on all ticketed events.

Events include:

* Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer applies to tickets for the same show bought in advance. To get the 2 for 1 offer, please quote BT100 when booking your tickets:

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Douglas Dunn at 70

21 Nov

Douglas Dunn at StAnza 2011 (photo by Al Buntin)

An extensive catalogue of the drafts, manuscripts and letters of leading Scottish poet and StAnza’s Patron, Douglas Dunn, will be freely accessible online for the first time from tomorrow, improving access to the poet’s hand-written workings for fans, writers and scholars alike. The University of St Andrews will launch the Douglas Dunn collection catalogue to celebrate the 70th birthday of one of the UK’s best-loved poets – mentored by Philip Larkin, described by Mervyn Bragg as “among the finest of our poets”, and awarded an OBE for his services to literature.

To mark this occasion the University, where Dunn taught English from 1989 to 2008, has invited Dunn to deliver its prestigious ‘Friends of the Library’ lecture on the subject of ‘The Writer in the Library’, Thursday, 17.15 hours, in the University of St Andrews’ Arts Lecture Theatre. This lecture is free and open to all.

In the new digital age, the Dunn archive is of near-unique historical importance, in that it may well turn out to be one of the last paper archives to span the entire working life of a significant British writer acquired by a University Library. It reveals an intimate portrait of the writer’s false starts, hesitant jotting of rough ideas, brutal crossing-outs, and gradual re-drafting of some of the most tender and moving love poems of the second half of the twentieth century.

Poetry Café in St Andrews this week

19 Nov

Rab Wilson

StAnza is helping to organise a couple of great events in St Andrews for this year’s St Andrews Festival.  On Friday 23rd November, the popular Scottish poet Rab Wilson will be the star attraction for a Poetry Café evening at Zest Juicing and Coffee Bar on South Street. Zest will have an in-house licensed bar for the evening, and there will be open mic slots if anyone wants to bring along their own poems. Free snacks will also be on offer – we’ve even heard murmurings of a repeat of the stovies which were so popular at our early evening open mic event there last year. The event kicks off at 7pm, and it’s free, so just come along.

Then on St Andrews Day itself, Friday 30th November, as part of the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival, StAnza are collaborating with Food from Fife on a lunchtime session, Wake Up and Smell the Stovies, with the irrepressible performance poet Robin Cairns offering his brand of tasty bites to give the session a special poetic savour. This is another free event, this time in the Supper Room at the Town Hall in Queens Gardens, starting at around 1.00pm.

StAnza 2013: programme to be unveiled soon

14 Nov

Plans are well underway for StAnza 2013. The list of headlining poets includes Liz Lochhead, Robin Robertson, John Hegley, USA’s Mark Doty, Erín Moure and Ken Babstock from Canada, and Irish poet Paula Meehan. The festival will also focus on Welsh poetic talent with Robert Minhinnick and Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch already signed up to appear.

And we’re getting ready to unveil our full programme online at the end of November. So watch this space.

As part of the build-up to StAnza 2013, we’ll be releasing a series of podcasts of highlights from last March’s festival. The first of these is now up on our podcasts page here  and features excerpts from readings by Kwame Dawes, Hilary Menos, Samuel Tongue and Nuala Watt, and some jazz from The Dave Batchelor Quintet.

Sample some Stewed Rhubarb poetry this weekend

1 Nov

A brand new poetry press is being launched in Edinburgh this weekend: Stewed Rhubarb is a new venture which publishes the work of spoken word poets and its first three pamphlets are getting a send off at the Jazz Bar, Chamber Street this Sunday, 4th November.

StAnza goers will recognise the three performance poets who are taking their poems from the stage to the printed page for the first time. Nice covers too.

Jenny Lindsay is the reigning BBC Slam Champion and has appeared at a number of festivals and events including StAnza, of course, the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Latitude, and Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Rachel McCrum was a finalist at the 2012 BBC Edinburgh Festival Poetry Slam and winner of the 2012 International Women’s Day Slam. She co-organises Inky Fingers, the Edinburgh based spoken word collective, which has collaborated with StAnza on several occasions.

Katherine McMahon is also one of the organisers of Inky Fingers, and her pamphlet includes an album of her poetry with soundscapes by Fiona Keenan.

Stewed Rhubarb was founded this year by Rachel McCrum and James Harding to provide a publishing outlet for performance poets. The pamphlets are all available to buy online and at the poets’ own gigs.

Hear the poets read at Sunday’s launch event: entry is £3, and guests are invited to stay at the Jazz Bar for an evening of jazz and frivolity after the readings. For more information, visit the Stewed Rhubarb website

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