Archive | January, 2013

StAnza 2013 will go ahead despite Byre Theatre news

26 Jan

The sudden news that the Byre Theatre in St Andrews, StAnza’s hub venue, are closing their doors next week has taken everyone by surprise. However
StAnza 2013 will go ahead as planned.

Everyone at StAnza is shocked extremely sorry to hear about the Byre’s troubles. The venue has been such a vital part of StAnza for many years, and the wonderful staff there have all our sympathies. Of course we are urgently seeking clarification as to how this will affect StAnza 2013, which will take place from 6 – 10 March. However StAnza has always used a range of venues in St Andrews, such as the Town Hall, the University’s Parliament Hall and local galleries, museums and schools. With the support of local partners we shall where necessary move events due to take place in the Byre to alternative venues and we hope to finalise and announce any new arrangements within a matter of days. Fortunately the good relationships StAnza enjoys with institutions in St. Andrews means that we have already had numerous offers of support. The intention is to minimise disruption, to continue with our planned core programme and keep everyone informed.

Those who have already booked their tickets through the Byre’s box office will have those accepted as normal. We are arranging an alternative booking system for those yet to buy their tickets. Information on this will shortly appear on the booking page of our website,, and information on venue changes will be given on the online programme listings as soon as possible. We will also post information on here on the StAnza Blog.

As Angela Wrapson, the Chair of StAnza’s Board of Trustees has said, the Byre is one of the loveliest small theatres in Scotland and we hope that it will reopen its doors very soon. Meanwhile, the StAnza festival programme for 2013 is the most exciting yet, and we are all gearing up for it.

Winter words, roof raising poetry, smokin’ hot jazz, snowdrops and stars…

24 Jan

DSC_0120The first shiny new batch of the year’s festivals and events are coming up very soon: what better way to ward off the winter gloom and celebrate? Tomorrow (Friday) sees the start of Pitlochry’s Winter Words, with more than 40 fantastic events including legendary politician Paddy Ashdown, the London 2012 Paralympian Karen Darke, broadcaster and writer James Naughtie and the effervescent Tony Robinson of Blackadder and Time Team fame, Tam Dalyell, Ian Buxton, Kate Mosse, Alistair Moffat and many, many more.

Winter Words is produced in connection with Literary Dundee and it is in Dundee, on Thursday 7th Feb (5-7pm) that William Letford, rising star of the poetry world (in both senses for he works as a roofer), will appear at one of the DCA’s famous Literary Dundee Salons. It’s free – no tickets needed – and there’s complimentary wine. The author of the stunning first collection, Bevel, is famous for his mesmerising recitals of his work. Not to be missed.

StAnza has always made space for jazz in its programme, but for the full-on experience, nothing beats the Fife Jazz Festival (1-3 February) which welcomes February in with blues, swinging jazz, big band and trad. There’s Blues star Mud Morganfield (son of the legendary Muddy Waters) and the new swinging jazz star in Manhattan, Champian Fulton. Hear one of the top big bands in the world play the music of the iconic Charles Mingus and sample new Scottish trad bands like King Louis and the Primas.

For a magical woodland experience, head to Cambo House for Snowdrops by Starlight 1317 FebruaryA stunning festival of light, snowdrops and interactive attractions, the snowdrop woodland (pictured) on the Cambo Estate, outside Crail in Fife, is transformed into a magical illuminated trail with dramatic lighting effects; unusual woodland vistas and outdoor art gallery offering decorated specimen trees and amazing environmental sculptures.

Plenty, all in all to whet the appetite before StAnza.

Cold Weather Competition

22 Jan
With the weather so cold outside, this seems like a worthy poetry competition to mention.
Competition to help homeless and win publication of a short poetry collection
If you’d like to win publication of your own short poetry collection by Ward Wood Publishing while helping the homeless in three Cold Weather Shelters, now’s the time to enter the International Lumen/Camden Poetry competition. You win on the strength of just one poem, and as none of the organisers take any commission you can be sure money is passed to the Cold Weather shelters just as they most need it. You could see your short collection well promoted this time next year, and everyone wins by helping those in need. Don’t wait for the deadline of February 14th – the worst weather is now so let’s get moving.
Full details and links on the competition page at:

The main details:

Judge: Anne Stevenson
Prize: Publication of short collection for one winner, 50 free copies, launch event and promotion.
Closing date February 14th 2013.
Poems up to 40 lines. Proceeds go to three London Homeless Cold Weather Shelters.
Entry fee: £2.50 per poem, 6 for £10.
Details on the Competition page at:
The patron of Lumen and Camden Poetry is Andrew Motion, former UK poet laureate.

Edinburgh Preview for StAnza 2013

17 Jan
Ron Butlin, who'll read at StAnza 2013 Edinburgh Preview

Ron Butlin, who’ll read at StAnza 2013 Edinburgh Preview

The StAnza brochure is almost ready and will be available fresh from the printers at this year’s Edinburgh Preview of the programme for StAnza 2013. This free public event takes place at the National Library of Scotland, Wednesday 30th January at 6pm, and as ever we’re very grateful to the NLS for their support. There will be short readings from three of this year’s festival poets, Edinburgh’s makar Ron Butlin and from the spoken word scene, Rachel McCrum, finalist in this year’s BBC Slam, and her Inky Fingers colleague Harry Giles. All this, plus a trailer of the film of Alice Oswald’s long poem Dart, which will be screened in full at StAnza in March, and a round up of some of the festival highlights. It promises to be a delightful hour of entertainment. If you’re in the Edinburgh area, be sure not to miss it.

Either book on the NLS web page at or call 0131 623 3734


StAnza 2013 – tickets go on sale!

10 Jan
StAnza 2013 pages in the new Byre brochure just out

StAnza 2013 pages in the new Byre brochure just out

For those who like their StAnza listings on paper, you’ll have to wait just a little while longer for the full brochure, but the Byre Theatre’s own new brochure is just out with their usual spread of StAnza’s Byre events, so allows a little paper browsing.

Of course the full details are available online (with a few last events just being added) at, and tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday 14th January.  Details are as follows:

StAnza Box Office:
The Byre Theatre,
Abbey Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9LA, Scotland
tel: 01334 475000 fax: 01334 475370

Booking: tickets on sale on Monday 14th January 2013

Box Office open
Before festival: from Monday to Saturday, 10am–5pm (or 7pm on theatre show nights).
During festival: daily 10am–8pm from 6-10 March 2013

Purchase online: (Link from StAnza website or go direct to the Byre’s own website at
By phone, in person or on line: payment by Visa or MasterCard.
By post: cheques made out to The Byre Theatre.
Concession prices: available to senior citizens, school pupils, students, disabled & unemployed.
Families: family tickets for children’s events admit up to four people (must include at least 1 child & no more than 2 adults)
Early bird discount: 30% off all tickets (full price or concession) purchased on or before 4 February 2013.
Bulk purchase: 30% off tickets bought for 8 or more events.
Disclaimer: please note, bulk purchase and special discounts are not applicable along with any other discount offer.
Free events: for free events, just turn up; all exhibitions are free.

We know from the laments of those who were unsuccessful that there’s always a push to obtain tickets for the more intimate events with limited seating, so this year we’ve added a second all day workshop at Balmungo, to give some more people a chance at getting tickets, and there are also three morning workshops, and six Round Table events.  So good luck at getting all the tickets you want. Most of our headliners, including this year Mark Doty, Paula Meehan, John Hegley, Robin Robertson, Gillian Clarke, Liz Lochhead and Luke Wright, are performing in our larger venues, where there should be no difficulty getting tickets at this time. And of course there are as many free events as well, making StAnza the festival you can enjoy without breaking the bank.

A New Year for Poetry

2 Jan

As a new year starts in the Scottish poetry scene, there’s still time to apply for the Tyne and Esk Creative Writing Fellowship.

Tyne and Esk Writers wish to appoint a creative writing fellow with a record of publication to this part- time position (average 17.5 hours weekly). The Fellowship, which is funded by Awards for All, will be for a period of 6 months and will involve support to writers’ groups and individual writers throughout the two local authorities.

Stipend £6 000

Applications should be made in writing by 11th January to the Principal Libraries Officer, Library and Museum Headquarters, Dunbar Road, Haddington, East Lothian EH41 3PJ. A downloadable information pack is available from this link. Interviews will be held on the 24th January 2013.

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