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Scotland’s International Poetry Festival reveals headline names for StAnza 2017

Scotland’s International Poetry Festival reveals headline names for StAnza 2017

20th StAnza Festival: Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th March, 2017

StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, has today revealed some of the headline acts for next year's 20th festival ahead of National Poetry Day on Thursday 6th October.  The annual festival will take place from Wednesday 1st March until Sunday 5th March in the Fife town of St Andrews. 

StAnza Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: "We're thrilled to have so many fantastic poets, including Scotland's new Makar Jackie Kay, already confirmed for StAnza 2017. Next year will be our 20th festival, which will be an exciting anniversary. We plan to celebrate this and move into our third decade with a festival to remember including a special project to be launched in March.

“We look forward to revealing more details of the full programme, which is fitting of such a significant milestone, in the coming months."

Among the big names from the literary world to perform at next year's annual festival are Scotland's new Makar Jackie Kay, Robert Crawford, a poet, critic, biographer and professor at the University of St Andrews and Jim Carruth, appointed poet laureate for Glasgow in 2014. They will be joined by Vahni Capildeo, recent winner of this year’s Forward Prize, Scottish poets James McGonigal and A.B. Jackson as well as Sarah Howe, winner of the T.S Eliot prize for her first collection Loop of Jade and previous T.S. Eliot prizewinner Alice Oswald.  Zambian poet, Kayo Chingonyi and Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children's writer, John Agard, both British-based, will also perform at StAnza 2017.

StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. Next year’s first theme On the Road showcases poetry inspired by and reflecting on travel and migration, while the second theme The Heights of Poetry looks at how poetry engages with Scotland’s high places, and the poetic connections between Scotland’s hills and mountains and those elsewhere.

Following on from the success of StAnza's focus for 2016, on German poetry and culture, next year's festival will have a dedicated language focus on French, under the title, La Nouvelle Alliance which will see various French speaking poets taking part along with other events with a French connection. Through La Nouvelle Alliance and the theme The Heights of Poetry, StAnza will engage with Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Over 60 poets will be taking part at StAnza in St Andrews, along with many musicians, visual artists and film makers bringing the historic Fife town alive with poetry, music and art for five days in March.

Image: Jim Carruth Credit Robert Twigger

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