Tag Archives: Helena Nelson

Top picks and pix post-festival

22 Mar
StAnza 2015 launch, photo by www.alistairkerr.com

StAnza 2015 launch, photo by http://www.alistairkerr.com

 

“SAnza for me always helps usher winter into the dark, and marks a door opening into the bigger light of spring.”

With so many wonderful things already said or written about StAnza 2015 it’s hard to pick favourites but this quote from Gerry Cambridge’s Facebook post has to be amongst them.

Two weeks on and with the sun still shining and spring well and truly sprung, here at StAnza HQ we are still recovering from the wonderful buzz of the festival, so we have our feet up and a cup of tea in one hand as with the other we browse through the reviews and photographs which are piling up. A full Afterword with galleries of photographs and links will follow in due course – including, fingers crossed, the text from Glyn Maxwell’s sell-out lecture – but meantime we thought you might enjoy a sample of photographs plus links to various articles, reviews and blog posts already brought to our attention. If you know of more, do let us know. If you were at this StAnza this year we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and thanks for coming to be part of it. If you didn’t make it this year, here’s just a glimpse of what you missed. And there’s always next year. Meantime, before the links, here’s another quote, this time from Kei Miller:

What an incredible festival StAnza continues to be! An overwhelming experience all around, the readings, the friendships, the wine – but the moment that I think will stay with me, the moment when for some inexplicable reason I choked up and had to look away, was the moment when the Catalan poet Josep Lluís Aguiló talked about the ‘small’ language he wrote in: ‘I have no choice in the matter’ he said, and then turning to his translator continued with such astounding vulnerability, perhaps unintentional but so to the point of it all…. ‘I am in your hands.’

And so to the links. First of all, here’s a brilliant video collage of images from the opening night, from photographer Alistair Kerr.

StAnza 2015 opening night video by Alistair Kerr

The inspiring StAnza poetry festival: The Scotsman review by Susan Mansfield

Risk A Verse, photo by Helena Fornells

Risk A Verse, photo by Helena Fornells

Review of StAnza 2015: Scotsman review by Susan Mansfield

Why we need more poetry events like StAnza, by Charlotte Runcie in The List

Kei Miller comes home, by Charlotte Runcie in The List

StAnza 2015 – Simon Armitage, one of Britain’s best, by Charlotte Runcie in The List

StAnza 2015 – Helen Mort, by Charlotte Runcie in The List

StAnza 2015: Mothers Day – why we need more great writing about being a mother, by Charlotte Runcie, The List

At the festival hub, by Alice Roberts

At the festival hub, by Alice Roberts

The Ferocity of Festivals by Helena Nelson

StAnza Poetry Cafe with Owen O’Neill, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza Poetry Cafe with Erin Fornoff, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza Body Searches, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

Stepping it out at the festival finale, photo by Terry Lee

Stepping it out at the festival finale, photo by Terry Lee

StAnza Border Crossing, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza Poetry Cafe with Torok & Campion, by Paul Thompson, The Mumble

StAnza 2015, by Elizabeth Rimmer, Burned Thumb

StAnza 2015, by Colin Will, Sunny Dunny

StAnza 2015 erasure, the FCA&C blog

StAnza 2015, by Sarah Hymas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blame Montezuma!

16 Oct

 Blame MontezumaChoc-lit anyone? Calling all addicts of chocolate, poetry or both.

Blame Montezuma! is the scrumptious new book of ‘choc-lit’ poems from Fife-based HappenStance Press, who are longstanding StAnza favourites. As a special event for Book Week Scotland taking place this year from Monday 23rd November, we’ve brought them together with Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier, who now have a shop in St Andrews, and our favourite coffee shop in town, Zest Coffee and Juicing Bar on South Street, to cook up a feast of an event. Poet and publisher Helena Nelson will be joined by Jenny Elliott, Ross Kightly and others to offer both edible and verse treats.

The event will take place on Thursday 27th November at 6.30pm, lasting about 60 – 90 minutes, and as per above, this will be at Zest, 95 South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9QW. Highland Chocolatier CDT final

This is a free event, but if you’d like to be sure of a seat, email info@stanzapoetry.org.

You can read what HappenStance Press think about the Highland Chocolatier’s chocolates at www.happenstancepress.com/index.php/blog/entry/choc-lit-melts-into-action.

Find out more about Book Week Scotland at www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland, about Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier’s at www.highlandchocolatier.com, and about Zest at www.zest-standrews.com.

BWS-Logos-CMYK-(pink-V3)Choc Logo transparent (2)

StAnza 2014 in words and images

2 Sep


So what were Rob Mackenzie’s 20 Moments from StAnza 2014? Why did time stop in the Undercroft for Helena Nelson? What did Tishani Doshi say about dogs, death and St Andrews in her column for the New Indian Express? And why did Ellen McAteer recommend attending StAnza as “the best thing you will do”.

As we approach the halfway mark between this year’s festival and next year’s, what better time to reflect on the popular and critical success of StAnza 2014.
The Afterword page is now live on our website at http://www.stanzapoetry.org/2014/afterword14.php. As ever there are galleries of photographs – a mixture of programmed events and all the encounters and experiences which always happen at StAnza in-between and around events – plus links to videos and podcasts from the festival and a wide range of articles and reviews, including those mentioned above. So if you were at this year’s festival, you can re-capture a flavour of it, see who else was there, get a sense of the atmosphere; and if you weren’t there, now you know what you missed!

Cypress Well (Jim Causley & Lukas Drinkwater), photographer Helena Fornells Nadal

Cypress Well (Jim Causley & Lukas Drinkwater), photographer Helena Fornells Nadal

Here at StAnza HQ we’ve hugely enjoyed reading all that’s been written about the festival, the articles and reviews, and also your feedback via the questionnaire forms you obligingly complete for us. We love to read how StAnza was for you and to learn that it is a favourite festival for so many. ‘A vintage year’ people said, perhaps with reference to the contemporary circus show with which we opened this year, or maybe Paul Muldoon’s final reading for the festival, or even the party which followed. Here are just a few of the other comments made:

‘Wonderful event, warm, friendly, relevant, provocative and held in a beautiful place.’

‘The festival was fantastic, I can’t imagine any better atmosphere for poetry than the one you so perfectly created.’

‘The breadth of vision of StAnza is good for us all!’

‘An annual treat – a feast of poetry in a wonderful setting.’

‘Truly international and an inspiring event. It’s a really important part of the poetry calendar.’

And as well as reading about StAnza, you can listen to podcast interviews with some of the poets who took part, including Brian Turner and Tanya Shirley, or watch video interviews with artist Lucilla Sim and Gill Plain who spoke in March about women’s poetry from WWI.

Tanya Shirley book signing,  photographer David Vallis

Tanya Shirley book signing,
photographer David Vallis

Our strand of events in recognition of the centenary of WW1 included David Constantine’s lecture on The First World War at Home and Abroad, about which many of you commented. We are therefore very pleased now to have been able to include a link to the text of this on the Afterword page on our website at http://www.stanzapoetry.org/2014/afterword14.php

Next year’s StAnza takes place 4-8 March at St Andrews.

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 http://www.stanzapoetry.org/podcast/ 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 http://www.byretheatre.com, 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 brian@brianjohnstonepoet.co.uk.

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 george@george-sinclair.com.

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 http://www.historyfest.co.uk/pages/elizabeth-melville-day.

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

Fife Writes Again

28 May

The next Fife Writes Event will take place at the Lomond Hills Hotel in Freuchie on Thursday 26 June at 7.30 pm when the theme will be ‘Fife Writes Speaks Out’. Three Fife based writers, Helena Nelson, Lindsay Macgregor and StAnza’s own Eleanor Livingstone will each be reading, and Dominic Venditozzi will provide music.

The event is free but please contact george@george-sinclair.com for details and to book a seat. Numbers are limited, so early booking is recommended. Fife Writes is a new writing group recently set up by Create in Fife in association with Fife Cultural Trust. They already have over 100 members, many of whom are professional and budding writers.

Contact details are as follows:

George Sinclair
Organising Team
Fife Writes – part of Create in Fife

email george@george-sinclair.com

HappenStance’s Helena Nelson: Sign up for her StAnza’s workshop at Edinburgh’s Just Festival

23 Jul

stanza-bannerThe Edinburgh festival season is upon us, and StAnza has been invited once again to present an event at the Just Festival, formerly the Festival of Spirituality and Peace.

This year we are arranging a workshop, which will be led by Helena Nelson, the acclaimed poet, editor and publisher of HappenStance Press. Her theme will be ‘Getting Poems Published (how to increase the chances of success with magazine editors and publishers)’. A must for poets and would be poets, this is a great chance to analyze where you are now, where you want to be, and how best to get there.

The venue is the Quaker Meeting Room, 7 Victoria Terrace and the event is on 8th August, 3-5pm. Booking details at the Just Festival’s website here.

StAnza’s programme is now online!

9 Dec

If you are snowed in and have time to surf, take a look at StAnza’s programme for 2011 which has just gone online at www.stanzapoetry.org

The plethora of poets are due to appear at the festival at the Byre Theatre (left) and other venues in St Andrews, 16-20 March. The line-up is one of the most intriguing yet. Just confirmed is slam legend Bob Holman, who made this brand of performance poetry a force to be reckoned with. Fellow New Yorker Marilyn Hacker is also making a rare visit to Scotland. These transatlantic poets will be joining talents from closer to home: Ciaran Carson: the acclaimed poet from Northern Ireland. Julia Donaldson: the hugely popular children’s author and poet, of Gruffalo fame, who will be heading up the festival’s Children’s Programme and Douglas Dunn, Scotland’s most eminent poet. Recent T. S. Eliot Prize winner Philip Gross has also just been added to the list.

More names to plan your visit to StAnza around are Paul Farley, Selima Hill, Yang Lian, Carrie Etter and Fiona Sampson. Scotland’s voices include John Burnside, Stewart Conn, Helena Nelson, Rab Wilson, Hugh MacMillan and Tom Pow.

Among the international voices are Italy’s Antonella Anedda, Iraqi poet, Adnan al- Sayegh, Belgium’s sound and visual poetry group Krikri, and poets from Georgia and Australia. We’ll be posting more entries about the line-up over the next few months.

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