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StAnza Poetry Festival in St. Andrews

StAnza is an annual festival that is dedicated to celebrating poetry in all its many forms. While the focus of StAnza is primarily on Scotland, it aims to be international in its outlook. The charming town of St. Andrews is a prominent center for higher learning in Scotland and is home to the country’s oldest university. It therefore seems fitting that St. Andrews plays host to this popular poetry event. StAnza 2008 will be held from the 12th to the 16th of March at a number of superb venues in St. Andrews.

Started in 1998, StAnza is becoming increasingly popular as a platform for audiences and performers to enjoy a wide variety of performances where music, dance, film and poetry blend in perfect harmony. Through its interaction with Poetry International, Berlin’s European Poetry Festivals Conference, StAnza has gained recognition as a major European festival promoting the love of poetry.

To give each annual event its own unique identity, StAnza focuses on two themes, which, although being distinctly different, weave around one another in interesting ways. The themes for StAnza 2008 are “Poetry and Conflict” which invites poets and speakers to share their conflict-related experiences and viewpoints, and “Sea of Tongues” featuring works presented by non-English-speaking poets from the UK and beyond.

In addition to readings, StAnza features performances, a lecture and discussion session, workshops, stand-up sessions, children’s events and book launches encompassing editors, critics, publishers, academics and writers from other genres. In recent years StAnza has diversified to embrace songwriting, film and exhibitions, all with positive results.

The core location for StAnza will be the Byre Theater, with many of the events taking place at fascinating venues nearby. These include Parliament Hall, St. John’s Undercroft, the Town Hall and the Preservation Trust Museum.

StAnza 2008 introduces some new facets to the festival, such as Poetry Breakfasts to start the day off in a relaxed and conversational atmosphere. Round Table Readings will encourage interaction between festival-goers and major poets in an intimate environment, and the late night Poetry & Jazz jam session explores the influence that poets and musicians have on one another.

StAnza 2008 will be the 11th anniversary of this popular poetry festival, and organizers are going all out to guarantee that the experience is an enjoyable one for all concerned.


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