Tag Archives: Mandy Haggith

Poetry Map Poem 46: Achmelvich

14 Sep


First there is wonder:
a river-wrack dance on incoming tide,
two otters twining out to sea,
moss under crushing footsteps,
a radiant sedge,
a raven overhead.

Then there is wondering:
why one rowan toppled in the storm,
upending boulders to survive
all tangled, all-angled complexity,
while the smaller simply
shed another limb.

For a moment, there is insight:
mosses and lichens, liverworts and ferns
will overgrow the wounded wood,
scarred trunks will heal,
the lightened crown will stand;
there is elegance or there is sprawl.

On the way back
it is the same grey day
but everything is different;
even the river
flows the other way.

Mandy Haggith

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/ . For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.


Mapping Scotland in Poetry

4 Jul
Colin Will as host: photograph by Helena Fornells Nadad

Colin Will as host: photograph by Helena Fornells Nadad

We all know poems about Scotland but can the shape and nature of Scotland be drawn entirely in poetry? StAnza has set itself the challenge to see if this is the case. This year at StAnza 2014 we launched our project for the Year of Homecoming Scotland to map Scotland in Poetry. It began with a great fanfare, and unveiled at the event was our specially designed extremely non-digital map to serve our purpose.

Colin with the map, Lindsay Macgregor with the poem: photo by Helena Fornells Nadal

Colin with the map, Lindsay Macgregor with the poem: photo by Helena Fornells Nadal

The launch was an open event so before the festival we invited people to contact us proposing poems which had a specific Scottish location. We had a fine response from a wide range of people offering to read either one of their own poems, or a poem by a friend, or occasionally an older poem out of copyright, so we were spoiled for choice.

On the day, Colin Will and Andy Jackson delivered a wonderful double act hosting the event with wit and charm, Andy taking care of introductions and Colin in charge of the map pins. Surprise contributions included an appearance by Fife’s Provost, Jim Leishman, resplendent in his chains of office, who read one of his own poems set in Glasgow, and two digital contributions Skyped in from a couple of faces familiar to StAnza regulars, at the end of an internet connection in Ross-shire and Assynt.

Mandy Haggith: photo by Helena Fornells Nadal

Mandy Haggith: photo by Helena Fornells Nadal

Other readers included some of this year’s festival participants, some of the StAnza team, and a host of other poets. Judith Taylor brought the launch to an upbeat conclusion with a poetic tribute to her home town, “Moments in the Great History of Coupar Angus”.

Judith Taylor: photo by Helena Fornells Nadal

Judith Taylor: photo by Helena Fornells Nadal

Others who read include: Nalini Paul, Eveline Pye, Ian Blyth, Peter Jarvis, Angela Topping, Lindsay Macgregor, Lorna Carruth, Diana Lewis, Ellen McAteer, Lyn Moir, Mandy Haggith and Roderick Manson.

And now it’s time to continue the mapping exercise. We invite submissions of poems which have a specific Scottish location, whether named in the poem or not, and we’ll post a selection of these on our Blog and place a pin for each of them on our map. We hope eventually to have a map completely covered in pins from coast to coast, from north to south, east to west, highlands, borders, towns, cities, villages, mountains, lochs and rivers, beaches, firths and islands, rocks and reservoirs. If you’d like to contribute to this project, here are the details.

Please email us a copy of your proposed poem with a note of its location with enough detail on that for us to pin it on the map, and the name of the poet. In your email please confirm either that it is your own poem and you grant us permission to post it on this Blog, or that you have permission from the poet or publisher, or that the poem is out of copyright (copyright lasts until 70 years after the poet’s death, or the date of first publication of the poem, whichever is the later).

And at the end of the project, we’ll publish a full list of the poems submitted and photographs of the full map. At least we hope it will be a full map, but we need your help with that. So please send your poems to info@stanzapoetry.org, preferably pasted into the body of your email, and at this stage, no more than one poem per poet/submission, thanks.

Capture the immediacy: visual minuting at StAnza

18 Mar

There was an extra aspect to StAnza’s Poetry Breakfast, in keeping with the Designs on Poetry theme. We invited photographer, artist and video poem maker Ariadne Radi Cor  to act as a visual minuter. Ariadne created her beautiful and informative ‘minutes’ of the discussions, while they were happening.


and the results  went on display in the Supper Room at the Town Hall during the rest of the festival.  This one was made during the Poetry Breakfast on eco poetry and features sketches of the participants, Andrew Forster, David Borthwick, Mandy Haggith and Carry Akroyd and some of the points they made about nature, trees, landscape and poetry.


Ariadne also makes collages and this set of minutes features a little 3 -dimensional notetaking too:

Photographs by Chris Scott 

You can find out more about Ariadne’s work at


Weekend Poetry Breakfast talks: join the webcasts

9 Mar
Artist Carry Ackroyd

Artist Carry Akroyd

Our weekend Poetry Breakfasts will be broadcast live on the Internet for those not fortunate enough to be here to enjoy them in person. You can watch the discussion panels on the StAnza USTREAM channel at 10am-11am on today and tomorrow, where you can also post your questions to be put to the panellists.

Today poets Mandy Haggith and Andrew Forster join academic David Borthwick and artist Carry Akroyd to discuss how poetry engages with nature ; while Sunday’s Breakfast will focus on the issues and art of poetry translation, featuring poets Alvin Pang, Erín Moure, and Eurig Salisbury alongside publisher Angela Jarman.

If you would like to pose a question to the panellists during one of the Breakfasts,
. . . . tweet your question to @StAnzaPoetry, using the hashtag #StAnza13webcast

Poetry at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

13 Aug


Get your poetry fix at the EIBF this month. New director Nick Barley asked one of Scotland’s premier poets Don Paterson and the Scottish Poetry Library to advise on selections for the Poetry Programme and the line-up is stunning.

Four of the six poets shortlisted for this year’s Forward Prize are appearing: Seamus Heaney’s event is sold out but tickets for Jo Shapcott, Robin Robertson and Sinead Morrissey were still available a few days ago.

Also on the roster are Simon Armitage, Paul Muldoon John Glenday, Carol Ann Duffy (reading from her forthcoming collection, The Bees), Jackie Kay, John Stammers, Ron Butlin, StAnza’s own former Director, Brian Johnstone, Kathleen Jamie (in conversation with Jonathan Bate), Douglas Dunn and Mandy Haggith (on Norman McCaig). Kei Miller, our Poet in Residence last March, is also taking part. Click here for full programme and booking details.

Kei Miller at StAnza 2010

And check out the festival’s innovative – and free –  Unbound evenings at the Highland Park Spiegeltent, which will feature a poetry night on Thursday 19 August. Expect the unexpected…

StAnza poets at The Big Tent

30 Jul


There was plenty of poetry on offer at The Big Tent festival which took place at Falkland in Fife last weekend. StAnza’s own Brian Johnstone and Anna Crowe were both giving readings with a line-up of other poets, including Mandy Haggith, who took part in the StAnza slam this year, and Gerry Loose, whose exhibition of plant labels, A rose is a rose is a … at the Preservation Trust Museum and around St Andrews, continued on after the festival into June. 


The Foyle Young Poets competition

Tomorrow is the closing date for the Foyle competition  for young poets but if you know any talented young poets aged 11 to 17, they still have time to enter online. The competition is open to young poets from around the world, and it would be great to see some from Scotland in this year’s top 15.

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