Tag Archives: Andrew Greig

A feast of poetry at the EIBF

14 Aug

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is now under way and there is plenty for poetry lovers to enjoy.  If you’re quick, you can get along to sample today’s showcase of new poets while later in the month there’s a chance to see Liz Lochhead,  Jackie Kay, Robin Robertson and Luke Wright, who have all appeared at StAnza  to great acclaim. Also not to be missed is a reading by the great US poet Kay Ryan, David Campbell’s story of traveller Duncan Williamson, the launch of the new Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize, Andrew Greig’s retelling of a border ballad, ‘Fair Helen’ and the poems and music of the Egyptian revolution.

Details for some of the events are below. Click here for the full line up of poetry events and to book tickets.

Miriam Gamble, Sam Riviere & Jo L Walton
21st Century Poetry
Wednesday 14 August 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre
£7.00, £5.00

Dear World & Everyone In It is a new anthology announcing the best young voices of British poetry. Stylistically innovative, thematically challenging, always creative and often surprising, it’s a unique collection presenting the work of 60 poets. Editor Nathan Hamilton presents a selection of the work in this event: Sam Riviere with his debut 81 Austerities, Jo L Walton and Miriam Gamble.

Jackie KayJackie Kay & Matthew Kay
Poetry and the Fight for Human Rights
The Amnesty International Event
Friday 16 August 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Baillie Gifford Main Theatre
£10.00, £8.00

Jackie Kay’s new poems about asylum seekers in Glasgow point up the importance of artistic and cultural contributions to political life. In this event Kay discusses her work with her filmmaker son Matthew Kay. He recently took a British football team to Palestine, where poetry is also a vital part of the culture of resistance, and today he shows an extract from the extraordinary documentary he made.

Andrew Wilson
Plath Before Hughes
Friday 16 August 5:00pm – 6:00pm
ScottishPower Studio Theatre
£10.00, £8.00
Before she met Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath had lived a complex, creative and disturbing life. Following her death in 1963, Hughes was the guardian and literary executor of her work and was, in effect, responsible for how she has been perceived by generations. Andrew Wilson explores the woman before the haunting poetry and sensational relationship that so greatly changed our cultural landscape.

K_1469_fsMichael Pedersen & Luke Wright
Poems Like Pointing Fingers
Friday 16 August 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre
£7.00, £5.00
A new breed of poets is storming the spoken word scene and entertaining a generation for which Big Brother is a reality TV show as well as an Orwellian literary invention. Michael Pedersen, co-organiser of Edinburgh live poetry night Neu! Reekie! reads from Play with Me, while Essex-born Luke Wright, whose 5-star performances have wowed Fringe-goers, performs from his joyful new tome, Mondeo Man.

Robertson,Robin_credit Niall McDiarmidRobin Robertson
I Steer Towards Catastrophe / Then Write About it
Sunday 18 August 10:15am – 11:15am
The Guardian Spiegeltent
£10.00, £8.00
Hill of Doors is Robin Robertson’s sixth poetry collection and his most powerfully assured yet. In its verse, he dives deep into the complexities of the human condition and then rains depth charges down upon himself. Robertson splices the sensitive and the brutish; mixes the mythical with the real; and in the process he confirms that he’s a superstar of Scottish poetry. Free coffee, courtesy of Prestige Scotland

LAUNCH OF A NEW PRIZE FOR POETS IN SCOTLAND: THE EDWIN MORGAN TRUST EVENT

Sunday 18 August

6:45pm – 7:45pm

Peppers Theatre

£10.00, £8.00

Three years after his death in 2010, Edwin Morgan’s memory burns brightly. In accordance with Morgan’s wishes, a major new prize for Scottish poets is announced at the Book Festival to build upon the previous poetry competition run in Morgan’s name. In this event chaired by Liz Lochhead, previous winners – Jen Hadfield, Paul Batchelor and Jane McKie – read their work and discuss the challenges of putting together a first collection.

Kay Ryan
Former US Poet Laureate
Sunday 18 August 5:00pm – 6:00pm
ScottishPower Studio Theatre
£10.00, £8.00
Kay Ryan is widely regarded as one of America’s great living poets. Her book The Best of It: New and Selected Poems won her the Pulitzer Prize in 2011, and she was the US Poet Laureate from 2008-2010. However, despite the plaudits, Ryan is no creature of the establishment: she once said ‘it’s poetry’s uselessness that excites me.’ She joins us to read some of her work.

David Campbell & Linda Williamson
Reigniting a Traveller’s Tale
Monday 19 August 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Writers’ Retreat
£7.00, £5.00
David Campbell’s subject is Duncan Williamson, born in a Loch Fyne tent in 1928, surrounded by storytellers and musicians. A Traveller in Two Worlds tells of Williamson’s remarkable life (he had two wives, ten children and wrote many stories) and the attempts to get his work about the traveller community to a wider public. Campbell is joined by Linda, Williamson’s second wife and an ardent activist in keeping his memory and writings alive.

b90442e0Andrew Grieg & Rachel Newton

Reimagining Border Ballads

Saturday 24 August

8:30pm – 9:30pm

ScottishPower Studio Theatre

£10.00, £8.00

Stirling-born writer and poet Andrew Greig returns with a new publication inspired by the history and landscape of Scotland. Fair Helen is a retelling of a 16th century Border Ballad, ‘Fair Helen of Kirkconnel Lea’. Inspired by the tradition of sung narrative ballads, Greig is joined by acclaimed musician Rachel Newton, who performs several songs and provides fiddle accompaniment to Greig’s reading from his new novel.

Poetry from the Egyptian Revolution
Poems and Music in Tahrir Square
Sunday 25 August 8:30pm – 9:30pm
ScottishPower Studio Theatre
£10.00, £8.00
At the heart of the Egyptian revolution were the events in Tahrir Square. During the riots, Amin Haddad wrote poetry which the protestors spoke or sang together for moral support. Haddad joins us from Cairo with members of the revolutionary band, Eskenderella, whose musical rendering of Haddad’s poems gave support to the protestors. They reprise – in a rare European appearance – the verse that was the immediate response to the uprising.

Return of the StAnza Pre-Festival Book Group.

6 Feb

Mark Doty, photograph by Starr Black

Good news for poetry lovers living in and around St Andrews.  In association with the University of St Andrews’ Open Association, StAnza is offering free places at its pre-festival Poetry Book Group sessions.  These were introduced for the first time last year in the run up to StAnza 2012 and were hugely popular, so we’re delighted that they are returning again this year, giving people the chance to read and talk about poets who will feature at StAnza 2013, including Mark Doty, Andrew Greig and Deryn Rees-Jones.

There will be three sessions this year, the first taking place today, Wednesday 6th February, and two further sessions will take place on Wednesdays 13th and 20th February.

Christian Livermore from the University’s School of English will lead the three early evening sessions from 5.30pm-7.30pm on Wednesdays in the Conference Room at St Katherine’s West at 16 The Scores, St Andrews KY16 9AX. To book a free place contact Debbie Wilbraham on 01333 462275 or open.association@st-andrews, or just turn up at one or more of the sessions.

More information can be found online here.

Poetry while the sun shines …

22 Apr
 
While the sun has been shining, April has been a busy month for poetry. Last weekend saw a Calderwood Press triple launch at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh on Saturday evening – new publications from Geoff Cooper, Eddie Gibbons and Lyn Moir. Then on Sunday evening at Rob Mackenzie’s regular Poetry at the Store event, Matthew Stewart was over from Spain to launch his first chapbook collection from HappenStance.

 

In St Andrews On the Rocks has been taking place this week, a festival organised by local students which will feature the first performance of Robinson, Brian Johnstone’s poem sequence about American poet Weldon Kees with new music composed by Richard Ingham. That’s at the Byre Theatre on Saturday 23rd April at 7.00pm.

James McGonigal at StAnza 2011

Meantime the shortlists have been announced for the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry , and we’re delighted to see Mariscat Press featuring in the best publisher category and James McGonigal shortlisted for his pamphlet Cloud Pibroch.  Jim took part in the Saturday In Conversation  at StAnza last month discussing Beyond the Last Dragon, his biography of Edwin Morgan. That’s double good news for Jim – Beyond the Last Dragon is in the running for the Scottish Book of the Year awards, for which the long list was also announced this week. Stuart Kelly, who took part in a StAnza Past & Present event on Sir Walter Scott last month is also on the non-fiction list for his book Scott-land. Poets are well represented this year, with two more on the non-fiction list, Jackie Kay and Andrew Greig.

Kei Miller, Poet in Residence at StAnza 2010

The poetry long list (of four) includes last year’s Poet in Residence at StAnza, Kei Miller  for his book A Light Song of Light, as well as Eddie Gibbons  who also took part at StAnza last year and Stewart Conn , who was a participant at StAnza 2011.  Along with Robin Robinson they are in the running for the Poetry Book of the Year, as well as for the £5,000 Book of the Year award.  Good luck to them.

Finally, there’s also poetry in the First Book category this year, Maggie Rabatski’s first pamphlet, Down from the Dance.

Teeing off?

23 Jul

 

Hello!  Welcome to the first post of StAnza’s brand new blog.  For those of you who haven’t come across us before, StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival takes place every March in the historic town of St Andrews, Fife.

StAnza's hub venue, The Byre Theatre, St Andrews

StAnza is a celebration of live poetry in all its forms and is as renowned for its warm welcome and intimate atmosphere as for the world class poets it attracts. Few festivals can match its unique mix of over 80 events, many involving music, visual art, comedy and performance. For more background info about StAnza, look at our About section, and to sample the highlights of StAnza 2010, visit our website’s  2010 Afterword page which features photos, reviews, and podcasts. 

Angela McSeveney

A Cabaret lunchtime event at StAnza 2010 with Angela McSeveney

Our regular blogs will keep you up to date with StAnza’s activities outside the main festival – we have some fantastic events lined for later this year – and we’ll let you know what’s being planned for 2011. We’ll also pass on the latest news from the poetry world and about the poets, writers and musicians who are associated with the festival. Or if you prefer, you can follow us on Facebook where we have a page and a group, or on Twitter.

StAnza takes to the fairways

Poetry and golf proved to make a winning combination during the British Open Championship which was held in St Andrews last week, attracting over 200,000 golf fans.  With the eyes of the sporting world focused on Fife, we were delighted to be asked to stage showcase performances in the Open’s Tented Village. The line-up featured some of the poets who appeared at our festival, supported by StAnza regulars. We opened with StAnza 2010′s poet in residence, Kei Miller, whose much heralded new collection, A Light Song of Light, is now out from Carcanet.

Following Kei, we also had Kevin Cadwallander, Angela McSeveney, Anna Crowe and Eddie Gibbons. Delivering poetry at The Open was rather a surreal experience for us, but an enjoyable one – we certainly engaged with a very different audience. I don’t know if anyone managed a hole in one, but no-one got hit by a golf ball.

The Open Golf Championship, St Andrews 2010

A hole in one?

StAnza has had encounters with golf before. When Sharon Olds came to StAnza in 2004, she read a side-splitting poem about golfers, inspired by watching them play from her hotel window during her stay here. In 2003, we arranged a six month residency for Roddy Lumsden at the St Andrews Bay Golf Resort and Spa. More recently, Andrew Greig read his lovely golf poem, ‘A Long Shot’, at our 100 Poets Gathering, an event arranged to celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2007.  Long may this unique relationship between poetry and golf continue!

 

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