StAnza reveals first names for 2020 poetry festival

StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, has revealed some of the first names to be included in its 2020 programme.

The festival, which was recently shortlisted as a regional finalist for the Scottish Thistle Awards, will take place from Wednesday 4 March until Sunday 8 March in the Fife town of St Andrews.

Among those performing at next year’s annual festival are Jen Hadfield, the youngest female poet to be awarded the TS Eliot prize, and award-winning American poet, editor and human rights advocate Carolyn Forché.

They will be joined by poet, playwright and author Joelle Taylor and Charlotte Van Der Broeck, a Flemish poet and recent winner of the 9th Paul Snoek Prize awarded to the best Dutch-language bundle of the past three years for her collection Nachtroer.

In keeping with its reputation of being a truly international affair, next year’s programme will not disappoint, featuring poets from all over the world who will travel to join many more from Scotland and the rest of the UK.

StAnza festival director, Eleanor Livingstone said: ‘We’re delighted to announce the first names from the literary world already confirmed for StAnza 2020. It’s always exciting bringing together such a diverse mix of well known talent with new, up and coming poets to create a programme which is fresh and vibrant and we look forward to revealing more names over the coming months.’

Viccy Adams, literature officer, Creative Scotland added: ‘Hearing Scottish voices together with our international counterparts has never been more important and Creative Scotland is delighted to support StAnza as a vital and glorious celebration of poetry.

‘The festival consistently delights and surprises audiences in Fife, as well as providing Scottish poets of all levels with a key opportunity to develop and share their practice. The line-up for 2020 is shaping up to be pure brilliant.’

StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. Next year’s themes are Due North and Coast Lines.

Dozens of poets will be taking part in StAnza, along with many musicians, visual artists and filmmakers bringing the historic Fife town of St Andrews alive with poetry, music and art for five days in March.

The festival has as its hub, the Byre Theatre, and many of its events which are expected to exceed 100 next year are held in other venues around St Andrews, including the Town Hall and St Johns, a medieval undercroft.

StAnza’s full programme will be available from late November.

For updates on StAnza, visit