StAnza programme launched ahead of 2022 festival

StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, has revealed a host of prize-winning poets among next year’s line-up.

It has unveiled its festival programme for 2022 under the title Stories Like Starting Points.

The festival, which was forced online in 2021 due to Covid, is planning a full return in hybrid form, Covid permitting, combining the best of online and live performance. StAnza 2022 will run from its festival hub in St Andrews from March 7-13.

Festival director Lucy Burnett said: ‘It’s always exciting to launch a festival programme but this year, even more so for StAnza as we relaunch ourselves as we emerge from the pandemic.

‘Our 2022 festival title, Stories Like Starting Points, is very apt as we start on our journey to redefine StAnza as an intervention in poetry, as well as being part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.’

Having travelled all around the world during our pre-festival poetry tour, StAnza will celebrate arriving back at St Andrews at the Byre Theatre to open the festival with a Scottish poetry and music extravaganza.

As well as featuring artists and speakers from every corner of the country, the event will celebrate Scottish talent as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. This will launch the festival with its line-up including internationally acclaimed poets from all over the world.

Among the headline voices performing at next year’s festival are Scotland’s national poet Kathleen Jamie, a previous winner of the Forward Prize, the Costa Prize and Scotland’s Book of the Year, and Luke Kennard, this year’s winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection. They will be joined by Robin Robertson, winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction and the Roehampton Poetry Prize for his narrative poem The Long Take.

Other artists performing include acclaimed rapper, playwright and world record holding beatboxer, Testament, Japanese author and poet Takako Arai, writer, journalist and political activist Gëzim Hajdari, poet and writer Holly Pester, performance poet Paula Varjack, Scottish author J.O. Morgan, writer and performer Harry Josephine Giles, and poet and disability rights activist, Daniel Sluman.

Lucy added: ‘With the cultural sector bearing the brunt of the pandemic over the last 18 months we’re thrilled to be announcing such an ambitious, diverse line-up, combining some of the biggest names in poetry alongside some of the newest and exciting, upcoming talent of the moment. We’re keeping everything crossed that Covid will not prevent us from realising the full ambition of the festival.’

Next year’s festival has the title Stories like Starting Points, allowing the festival to explore the opportunities and pitfalls of stories in poetry, ranging over narrative poetry, prose poetry, re-writing old stories and imagining new ones, reportage, process / chance narratives and myth /epic. The programme will feature poets who contest the power of narrative or of stories conventionally told, and those who experiment with it. StAnza is proud to be part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, a year in which stories inspired by, created, or written in Scotland will be showcased and celebrated.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting StAnza as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present. This year’s festival, with its theme of Stories Like Starting Points, will shine a light on poetry from Scotland and beyond.’

StAnza, one of Europe’s leading literary festivals, will bring over 100 poets and artists across 110 events, projects and installations to live and digital audiences for five days in March. The hybrid format will include a full live programme with traditional StAnza favourites such as readings and round table events, as well as an online strand capturing the full potential of the digital realm.

StAnza is supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of Stories 2022 and by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Tickets will be on sale from mid January.

For more details on StAnza visit HERE.