Archive | June, 2014

Renga today!

29 Jun

Anyone looking for something to do today might like to take themselves off to the lovely Fife village of Ceres. The Highland Games there today have been going for 700 years. This year something new is being added, a Poetry Renga. Details are as follows:

A CELEBRATORY POETRY RENGA – Sunday 29th June 11am – 4pm in the garden of St. John’s Lodge, Ceres, KY15 5NF

Colin Will, acclaimed poet and Renga Master from Dunbar, will lead today’s Renga, an ancient Japanese verse form, close to haiku, but composed collectively at one time and in one place.

You are welcome to join us for some or all of the time. Please bring your own lunch, green tea provided.

Enquiries to Nicholas & Barbara Davey 01334 828907

StAnza job vacancy

22 Jun

2014-03-07 20.02.41StAnza is looking for an enthusiastic and energetic new freelance Admin Assistant to work with our Festival Director in the preparation for and delivery of StAnza’s annual spring festivals, and to give occasional assistance with other events and projects throughout the year. The is a great chance to join the team and help be involved in StAnza’s success and growth.

The ideal candidate will combine good IT, literacy and writing skills and organisational abilities with an enthusiasm for and knowledge of literature and the arts, and should be highly motivated, creative and flexible.

The position is freelance, home-based and part-time. The Admin Assistant will work closely with the Festival Director and collaborate with others on the StAnza team including committee members, trustees and volunteers and external agencies such as StAnza’s web managers, taxi firm travel agents, as well as editors and publishers. They will also liaise with festival participants.

The workload fluctuates throughout the year and is heaviest in November and from mid-January until early March, and very light from mid-March to September. The work cannot be evenly apportioned over the year and the successful applicant must be available and willing to prioritise StAnza work for weeks at a time at key points each year. For the avoidance of doubt, this isn’t a role which can be combined with other year round full-time work.

This is a freelance post on a contract and the total fee offered is equivalent to £5,000 per annum. A full job description is available on request by emailing We are looking for someone available to start in October and we expect to be interviewing in August.

Anyone who would like to apply for the post should send a covering email enclosing two attachments, (a) a letter of application and (b) a supporting CV giving details of two referees. Please email to Eleanor Livingstone at by or before noon on Friday 25th July, 2014.

East Neuk Festival ticket offer

22 Jun

As we move towards July, it’s almost time for the East Neuk Festival (, 27th June – 6th July) which celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year, and once again they will have a literature strand to their festival. Catherine Lockerbie and Jenny Brown have programmed a selection of the UK’s finest nature writers, novelists, broadcasters, philosophers and thinkers discussing the natural world in atmospheric East Neuk settings. Pathways and journeys, personal and geographical, wind through this programme of literary events by the sea. You can hear highly respected names including Kirsty Wark and Sally Magnusson speaking from the heart in historic churches in Crail and the beautiful house and estate of Cambo.

The Festival’s culminating event at the ancient kirk of Kilrenny is with the admired nature and travel writer, Robert Macfarlane. East Neuk Festival has also programmed an entire day for families on Saturday 28th June at Crail Community Hall which celebrates the wonders of the Isle of May.

StAnza has teamed up with the Festival who will offer a two for one ticket offer for the following authors:

John Burnside: Saturday 28 June at Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Crail at 2pm.
Sally Magnusson: Saturday 28 June at Crail Church at 3:30pm
Graham Robb: Saturday 28 June at Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Crail at 5pm
Richard Holloway: Saturday 28 June at Crail Church at 6:30pm.
Tim Dee: Saturday 5 July at Cambo House at 1:45pm.

All you need to do is phone Hub Tickets on 0131 473 2000 by Wednesday 25th June and quote LITTORAL. Offer applies with online booking and in person too at The Hub – just quote: LITTORAL.

The festival opens with a weekend of Classic Jazz at Crail Community Hall from Friday 27 – Sunday 29 June, from Clarinet prodigy, Julian Bliss to Renaud Garcia-Fons to Scottish pianist, Euan Stevenson and guitar player Martin Taylor. Full details at the East Neuk Festival website and there are also ticket offers for the jazz events. You can see Julian Bliss, Renaud Garcia-Fons and Martin Taylor for £40 – quote this offer when booking your tickets with Hub Tickets; and tickets for The Euan Stevenson Trio are only £5 if you are staying on to watch Martin Taylor. Tickets for both concerts must be booked at the same time.

June is bursting out ….

4 Jun

Tanya Shirley

Tanya Shirley

While June is now here, March is still a fond memory. We are sorting through all the photographs and reviews of this year’s festival and a selection of these will appear in an Afterword page on our website soon, together with this year’s lecture by David Constantine. But meantime if you’d like to recapture the flavour of StAnza 2014, three podcasts are now available on our website at all recorded by our good friend Jennifer Williams from the Scottish Poetry Library, and featuring Tanya Shirley, Brian Turner and US poet Ilyse Kusnetz, recent winner of the US T.S. Eliot Prize, who was in St Andrews for the festival.

Elsewhere, it’s good to see that the Byre Theatre has a busy programme for this month. Full details on their website at, but here is a quick summary:

Friday 6th & Saturday 7th: Byre Youth Theatre: Haud yer Wheesht at 7pm. This is a piece that has been devised by the Youth Theatre and includes all members from the nursery group through to the young adults.

Tuesday 10th at 7pm, StAnza’s own Brian Johnstone launches his latest collection, Dry Stone Work. People planning to attend this should rsvp Brian on

Friday 13th; Flat Caps: Live music by local performers.

Sunday 15th to Tuesday 17th: St Andrews Opera presents Benjamin Britten¹s sparkling comedy, Albert Herring.

Saturday 21st: Elaine C Smith at 7.30pm, Still Standing…..Just

Still in Fife, but over in Freuchie for the next Fife Writes event, Helena Nelson of HappenStance Press will be giving a reading at the Lomond Hills Hotel at 7.30pm on Thursday 26th June with StAnza’s Eleanor Livingstone and Lindsay Macgregor, co-host of Ladybank’s Platform Poetry. It’s a free email but space is limited so if you plan to attend, you should email

Moving a bit further away still, Brian Johnstone will have a second launch event in Edinburgh at 7pm on Monday 9th June at St Columba’s by the Castle Church Hall, 14 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2PW.

Later in the month Germaine Greer is coming to Edinburgh on 21st June to mark unveiling of paving stone in Makars Court for Elizabeth Melville, Scotland’s first woman poet in print, as part of a day of events about Scottish women writers. Following the unveiling, which is a free public event, there will be a lunch reception followed by an afternoon session with James Robertson and Meg Bateman, and the day will conclude with a concert in St Giles. Full details are online at

So whether the sun shines or not, June has plenty to offer.

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