STANZA, Scotland’s international poetry festival, is just a few weeks away, with excitement building for the launch of the first ever hybrid event. The past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for the cultural sector, so to be hosting a festival in this climate in any form is a bonus.
Stanza 2021 will, of course, be very different to previous years, but festival organisers have created an innovative programme that embraces technology to ensure the festival spirit is not lost online, so to speak. This year’s event will be held over an extended period from 6 to 14 March to accommodate the adapted format, which combines a dynamic mix of audio and digital, live, virtual, and pre-recorded events for a Scottish and international audience. While the new format will still include traditional Stanza favourites – such as readings and round table events – organisers have created new events capturing the full potential of the digital realm, while remaining true to their usual festival hub in the Fife town of St Andrews.
Among the innovations in the festival programme are “Dial-A-Poem”, poetry readings by telephone, and “WindowSwap”, which pairs up international poets to write a poem responding to the view out of someone else’s window. There will also be a “Poets at Home” strand, new for the virtual festival, allowing audiences to see poets at home and gain insight into their writing set-up. Events such as open mics and interaction through social media will keep the community spirit of Stanza alive, despite the digital nature of the festival. Overall, around 90 poets will be taking part in more than 50 events at Stanza embracing the “new normal” to bring the internet alive for a celebration of poetry in all its forms.
Find out more about Stanza at www.stanzapoetry.org