Tag Archives: Paul Muldoon

Coming up soon in St Andrews

23 Mar
Paul Muldoon at StAnza 2014, photograph by Helena Fornells

Paul Muldoon at StAnza 2014, photograph by Helena Fornells


If you’re gloomy at the thought of waiting a whole year before StAnza comes round again, here’s some cheering news about poetry events coming up over the next few months.

Toppings bookshop in Greyfriars Gardens are planning a series of monthly poetry events on the first Tuesday of the month. This is what they say about them:

“Taking place on the first Tuesday of each month, Topping Tuesdays will be relaxed evenings of poetry readings and conversation, offering the chance to explore and discuss the work of some of the best poets on the contemporary scene. Our host is Don Paterson of the University of St Andrews, one of the most dynamic and critically acclaimed British poets writing today, a winner of the Forward, Whitbread and T S Eliot Prizes. We are delighted that he’ll be bringing his warmth and expertise to a regular showcase of poets – an array to satisfy the most varied of tastes! £5 or £3 Scholar.”

The first of these Topping Tuesday events takes place on Tuesday 7th April at 8pm when Annie Freud, who made a big impression at StAnza some years back, joins Don Paterson, reading from her own work and discussing her poetic craft.

Then on Tuesday 21st April at 5.15 in the Lawson Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English, The Scores, the acclaimed Mexican poet Pedro Serrano will give a talk in St Andrews on TS Eliot and Octavio Paz, drawn from his study The Making of the Modern Poet, followed by a short reading from his own work, with English translations by Anna Crowe.

He will also give a reading in Edinburgh the following day, April 22, at 6.30 pm, at the Word Power bookshop, 43 – 45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB. This will be in Spanish and English, and based on the poet’s book, Peatlands (Arc Publications 2014), a bilingual edition with translations by Scottish poet Anna Crowe.

Both events are free. For more information on the Word Power reading, call Word Power Books on 0131 662 9112 and there’s more about the St Andrews event at https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/…/newsandeve…/thenglishseminar/

Following that comes the next event at Toppings on Tuesday 5th May when Jacob Polley will take part with screenwriter and actor Jonathan Durie.

The Toppings programme continues with Paul Muldoon on Tuesday 19th May; Michael Pedersen & Lorraine Mariner on 2nd June; and on 4th August An Introduction to HappenStance Press and J. O. Morgan.

You can get more information on the events at Toppings on their website at http://www.toppingbooks.co.uk or by telephoning 01334 585111 or emailing standrews@toppingbooks.co.uk.

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.

Poetry at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, 2014

6 Aug

Paul Muldoon at StAnza by Helena Fornells NadalEdinburgh in August has to mean the Edinburgh International Book Festival which takes place this month from Saturday 9th to the 25th. More than 800 authors will deliver a vibrant and inspiring festival for all lovers of the spoken word, with 750 events, bookshops, cafes and plenty of activities for children jostling for space in the specially created tented village in Charlotte Square Gardens, right in the heart of Edinburgh.

Poetry events are always a key part of the Book Festival and we have information on a few of the highlights from this year’s programme which might catch the eye of StAnza regulars. Thanks to our partners at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we also have a pair of free tickets to offer for Paul Muldoon’s event, so read on! And for more details on events or to book tickets, visit the Book Festival’s website, http://www.edbookfest.co.uk, or call their box office on 0845 373 5888.

Sweet Potato and Callaloo: Voices from the Caribbean Diaspora
Sat 9 Aug, 4:30pm – 5:30pm, £10.00, £8.00

Jackie Kay introduces a vibrant generation of writers and poets whose work has its roots in the Caribbean. She is joined by Guyanese writer and poet Sasenarine Persaud, British-born Bajan performance poet Dorothea Smartt, British-born writer and performance artist Malika Booker, and Jamaican poet Millicent A A Graham.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/sweet-potato-and-callaloo

Stewart Conn & Hugo Williams: Ordinary Lives that Breed Special Verse
Sun 10 Aug, 10:15am – 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00

A stirring hour of poetry from two award-winning writers that delve into the everyday and find something quite extraordinary. Ayrshire-bred Stewart Conn’s latest collection is The Touch Of Time, a retrospective across five decades, while London-based Hugo Williams has recently published I Knew The Bride, an irony-infused memoir that reflects on his post-war childhood.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/stewart-conn-hugo-williams

Rowan Williams: Gravity and Grace
Sun 10 Aug, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, £10.00, £8.00

During his 10 years as Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams’s talents as a poet were often eclipsed by his high-profile religious role, but since he stood down to become Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge, his poetry is flourishing. His latest collection, The Other Mountain, explores moments of human transformation, whether in body or in spirit.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/rowan-williams-1

Andrew Greig with Rachel Newton: Performing Poetry, Prose and Music
Mon 11 Aug, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, £10.00, £8.00

Why do the stories of the Scottish-English borderlands – the Border Ballads – remain so compelling today? Writer and poet Andrew Greig and celebrated clarsach player Rachel Newton explore tales of the past in an enchanting dialogue that moves between poetry, prose, story and music. Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/andrew-greig-with-rachel-newton-1

Robert Crawford & Paul Farley: Magnificent Poetry
Thu 14 Aug, 10:15am – 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00

Scottish writer Robert Crawford creates poetry ‘to be homesick for’; sensitive to its local environment as well as magnificently universal. At this event he will read from Testament, his first collection in six years. The Selected Poems of multi award-winning Liverpudlian Paul Farley are drawn from four collections including his most recent, The Dark Film. His poignant, searingly honest work reflects the smallness of existence in a bafflingly vast world.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/robert-crawford-paul-farley

Michael Longley: Things We Cannot Forget
Fri 15 Aug, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, £10.00, £8.00

Michael Longley’s poems have been described as ‘masterpieces of lucidity, economy, sincerity…’. The distinguished Northern Irish poet will read from his powerfully moving new collection, The Stairwell. Longley is widely regarded as one of the finest poets of his generation and his new poems, shot through with references to The Iliad, include elegiac meditations on the death of his twin brother Peter and the Great War.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/michael-longley-1

Celebrating Lermontov: New Translations of an Old Master
Fri 15 Aug, 8:30pm – 9:30pm, £10.00, £8.00

Descended from Scottish ancestry and hugely influenced by Walter Scott, Mikhail Lermontov is viewed as one of Russia’s greatest poets. This bicentenary year sees publication of newly translated poems. Join translators Peter France, Rose France and Alexander Hutchison to explore the intricacies of translating a literary great’s work into English and Scots.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/celebrating-lermontov

Robin Robertson: Gimlet-Eyed Poetry
Sun 17 Aug, 10:15am – 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00

Few poets write with the piercing, unflinching honesty that Robin Robertson brings to his work. Hill of Doors, his latest collection, offers up a grim cornucopia of human suffering, sacrifice and excess. Yet Robertson’s subjects range from the brutal to the divine. Like the terrifying Hebridean whirlpool of Corryvreckan he describes in one of his finest poems, for Robertson life and death form an endlessly mutating cycle.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/robin-robertson-3

Paul Muldoon: Poetry’s Force of Nature
Sun 17 Aug, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, £10.00, £8.00

Born in Northern Ireland, Paul Muldoon is now a professor at Princeton University and poetry editor of the New Yorker. His poetry has won major prizes including the Pulitzer and the T S Eliot Prize and Muldoon is widely regarded as one of the most important poets working in the English language. In this event he previews a forthcoming collection, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/paul-muldoon-2

Patience Agbabi & Jen Hadfield: Poets Inspired by Places
Mon 18 Aug, 10:15am – 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00

They come from opposite ends of the British Isles, but Patience Agbabi and Jen Hadfield share a fascination for poems with a sense of place. Agbabi’s Telling Tales is a retelling of The Canterbury Tales for a multicultural Britain; a vibrant and sometimes outrageous mix of rhyme, sonnets and rap. Hadfield’s Byssus is a different kind of paean: poems that celebrate the sea, shore and moor of her adopted Shetland.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/patience-agbabi-jen-hadfield

Kei Miller & Tom Pow: In Search of the Promised Land
Mon 18 Aug, 3:30pm – 4:30pm, £7.00, £5.00

Two award-winning poets consider how we imagine – and sometimes actually forge – a better life elsewhere. Glasgow-based Jamaican Kei Miller has written The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, which explores the lure of the rastaman’s mythical city of Zion. Edinburgh-based Tom Pow presents A Wild Adventure, the tale of a late 18th century artist convicted of forging Scottish banknotes and sentenced to 14 years in Australia’s Botany Bay.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/kei-miller-tom-pow

David Harsent & Alexander Hutchison: ‘I Ken Aabody / Exceptin Masel’
Tue 19 Aug, 10:15am – 11:15am, £10.00, £8.00

A winner of the Griffin and Forward prizes, David Harsent is described by John Burnside as ‘probably the richest, most seductive…imagination working in English poetry today.’ Here he reads from his new collection Standing Shadows. Quite different in register, but equally accomplished, Alexander Hutchison brings a lively and exuberantly Scottish voice to his poetry in the wide-ranging collection Bones & Breath.
Buy tickets at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/david-harsent-alexander-hutchison

And the first person to email info@stanzapoetry.org not later than midnight on Friday 8th August with a note of the year in which Paul Muldoon last appeared at a StAnza spring festival wins a pair of free tickets to his above listed EIBF event on 17th August.

Deadline approaching for Paul Muldoon Masterclass

15 Feb

Paul MuldoonEach year the StAnza Masterclass is a festival highlight for many, and offers a wonderful chance for poets to have a leading poet comment on their work. It is also a chance for audiences to hear developing poets at an early stage in their careers, and to hear valuable advice on writing and editing poems. Many poets whose work has featured in past StAnza Masterclasses have gone on to later success with their poetry.

This year’s Masterclass will be taken by acclaimed Irish American poet Paul Muldoon, Professor at Princeton University and Poetry Editor for The New Yorker. The Masterclass is on Sunday 9th March at 11.15am, and several poems will be selected by Paul Muldoon for discussion from those submitted. If you would like your poems to be considered, you have until tomorrow, Sunday 16 February to submit. Full details are on the event page on our website at http://www.stanzapoetry.org. Good luck!

Deadline for Paul Muldoon Masterclass

12 Feb

Entries have been coming in for this year’s Masterclass at StAnza with Paul Muldoon. There are now just five days left to submit with the deadline of Sunday 16th February fast approaching. If you would like Paul Muldoon’s feedback on your work, to be in with a chance you need to submit this week. Full details are online at http://www.stanzapoetry.org/2014/event.php?event=641

Paul Muldoon in St Andrews, 30th October 2013

15 Oct

Paul Muldoon Sometime the good news just gets better. Not only is Paul Muldoon coming to StAnza 2014 next March, later this month he will also visit the School of English at St Andrews University, of which he is an honorary professor, and he has agreed to give a public reading during his visit. This will be a wonderful taster for his festival appearance at StAnza 2014 in March, so we are delighted to be working with the School of English to promote their event.

Paul’s reading this month will be on Wednesday 30th October at 6.30pm in Parliament Hall, 66 South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9JP at 6.30pm.  This will be a free event but limited to the capacity of the venue so if you want to be sure of a place, then email info@stanzapoetry.org to reserve a seat.  Doors will open at around 6.00pm and the event will last about an hour.

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet now based in the US, one of the major poets writing today and we are delighted to be offering not one but two chances to hear him read in St Andrews.

More information about Paul’s events at StAnza 2014 will be available on our website at www.stanzapoetry.org after 30th November.


StAnza 2014 Headliners Announced

3 Oct

Paul Muldoon compressed (1) Multi-award winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon is to make his first ever appearance at StAnza as part of an exciting line up of world class poets confirmed today.

Our festival next year, which forms part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations, takes place from 5th to 9th March 2014 and will feature poets from across the commonwealth.  These include a welcome return of the UK’s first Scottish-born and first female poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, Indian poet and dancer, Forward Prize winner Tishani Doshi and St Andrews’ own John Burnside, one of only two poets to have won both the T S Eliot prize and the Forward poetry prize for the same book.

Among Paul Muldoon’s accolades are the TS Eliot prize, the Pulitzer prize, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and the Aspen prize.  He is poetry editor of the New Yorker magazine, and was described by the Times Literary Supplement as ‘the most significant English-language poet born since the second world war.’

Our themes for StAnza 2014 will be ‘A Common Wealth of Poetry’, celebrating poetry from across the Commonwealth in Scotland’s Year of Homecoming, and ‘Words Under Fire’, which looks at the poetic legacy of war in the centenary year of WW1.

Announcing the headlining poets, our Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said:

“I am delighted to be able to confirm such an impressive line up of headlining poets for 2014. StAnza continues to attract some of the world’s leading poets who perform alongside emerging talent and those new to the poetry scene, giving the festival its dynamic and unique atmosphere.  We look forward to confirming more exciting performers and events over the coming months and to unveiling our full programme in late November.”

Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland 2014 Director said:  “In 2014, the year that Scotland welcomes the world, it is fitting that we support StAnza as it ties in perfectly with the Homecoming theme of celebrating creativity as well as our rich history and culture.  The charming town of St Andrews always provides a stunning backdrop for this vibrant and popular poetry festival, and I hope the exciting line-up announced today will encourage even more people to experience the festival next year.”

For a full list of headlining poets announced today, go to our website at www.stanzapoetry.org.

Carol Ann Duffy was appointed Britain’s poet laureate in May 2009.  She is the first woman, first Scot, and first openly LGBT person to hold the position.  She is currently professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her collections include Standing Female Nude (1985), winner of a Scottish Arts Council Award; Selling Manhattan (1987), which won a Somerset Maugham Award; Mean Time (1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award; and Rapture (2005), winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize.

Paul Muldoon was born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.  He has worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC in Belfast, as Professor of Poetry at Oxford, and is currently poetry editor of the New Yorker.  Since 1987 he has lived in the United States and is now Professor at Princeton University.

He has published several poetry collections and has been awarded the T S Eliot Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Griffin Prize, amongst others.

John Burnside was born in Fife and is one only two poets to have won both the T.S. Eliot prize and the Forward Poetry Prize for the same book (Black Cat Bone).  He is Professor in Creative Writing at St Andrews University.

His first collection of poetry, The Hoop, was published in 1988 and won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Other poetry collections include Common Knowledge(1991), Feast Days (1992), winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and The Asylum Dance (2000), winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award and shortlisted for both the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) and the T. S. Eliot Prize. The Light Trap (2001) was also shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. His poetry collection, The Good Neighbour (2005), was shortlisted for the 2005 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Collection). In 2008, he received a Cholmondeley Award.

Sujata Bhatt was born in Ahmedabad and brought up in Pune until 1968, when she emigrated to the United States with her family. She received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award for her first collection Brunizem.  She has translated Gujarati poetry into English for the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary Indian Women Poets. Combining both Gujarati and English, Her poems have appeared in various journals in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Canada, and have been widely anthologised, as well as being broadcast on British, German, and Dutch radio. She now lives in Germany.

David Constantine was born in Lancashire.  He was until recently the co-editor of the literary journal Modern Poetry in Translation.  As well as poetry, short stories, and a novel, he has translated Hölderlin, Brecht, Goethe, Kleist, Michaux and Jaccottet.  He has been shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award and recently won the Frank O’Conner International Short Story Award, the first English writer to do so. His new collection, Elder, out from Bloodaxe in March 2014 will be launched at StAnza.

Tishani Doshi is an Indian poet, journalist and dancer.  She was born in Madras, India, to a Welsh mother and Gujarati father. Her first poetry collection, Countries of the Body, won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection.  She is also the recipient of an Eric Gregory award, the All-India Prize for her poem The Day We Went to the Sea.  Her most recent book of poetry, Everything Begins Elsewhere was published by Bloodaxe in 2012.

Brian Turner is an American poet, essayist, and professor. He won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley for his debut collection, Here, Bullet, the first of many awards and honours received for this collection of poems about his experience as a soldier in the Iraq War. Since then he has won a Lannan Literary Fellowship and NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship. His second collection, Phantom Noise, was shortlisted for the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize.

Born in Visalia, California, Turner taught English in South Korea for a year, and traveled to Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan.  He was an infantry team leader for a year in the Iraq War beginning November 2003, with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. In 1999 and 2000 he was with the 10th Mountain Division, deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Menna Elfyn is a Welsh language poet, playwright, columnist, and editor. She has published ten volumes of poetry and a dozen more of children’s books and anthologies. She has also written eight plays for stage, six radio plays for BBC, two plays for television as well as writing documentaries for television. In 2002 she was poet Laureate for the Children of Wales, and she also co-edited the Bloodaxe Book of Modern Welsh Poetry.

Ron Silliman is an American Poet.  He has written over 30 books and has had his poetry and criticism translated into 12 languages. He has worked as a political organizer, a lobbyist, an ethnographer, a newspaper editor, a director of development, and as the executive editor of the Socialist Review (US).  He has taught in the Graduate Creative Writing Programme at San Francisco State University, at the University of California at San Diego, and the New College of California.

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