Scotland’s international poetry festival StAnza 2012 was previewed this Tuesday evening (February 14th , 2012) in Duncan of Jordanstone Lower Foyer Gallery. The informal event was hosted by festival’s director Eleanor Livingstone and several UK based poets who are participating in StAnza which will be held in St. Andrews 14th – 15th March this year. DJCAD Professor Tracy Mackenna introduced the audience with a new project in collaboration with Edwin Janssen for the festival.
Founded in 1998 StAnza is the only regular poetry festival in Scotland .This year it offers a big range of events based on two themes The Image and Poetry by Degrees in different venues of St. Andrews. The first selected poems were read in the Lower Foyer Gallery. Various short readings were performed by four poets: Andy Jackson introduced his Split Screen project and read the poem inspired by TV themes; Tim Turnbull performed the piece from his unusual looking notebook; Morgan Davie made the audience laugh with a poem about Manga and the Hebrides and last by no means least Angela Wrapson (StAnza Chair) read the final poem of the evening followed by Mending Heart Trio songs.
Furthermore, Eleanor Livingstone promised that the visitors of the festival should expect much more as the program offers a big range of international music events, performances, talks, film screenings and workshops (etc.). StAnza welcomes all age poetry admirers and also includes free events.
The significant part of the preview was lead by Professor Tracy Mackenna. The overview of Professor Edwin Janssen’s and her new project ‘’The Poem Pedlar’s Pearls’’ intrigued the listeners. StAnza’s main website states that the project will be focused on importance and relevance of the image in poetry, psychology, religion, visual art in relevance to the history of St. Andrews and local people will be interviewed to get first-hand information as it is an important part of The Poem Pedlar’s Pearls.
My general observation about Scotland’s international poetry festival’s StAnza event in DJCAD is very subjective: as a foreign student I do not feel emotionally attached to the traditional Scottish poetry. However, this evening enclosed the new approaches towards this type of art in Scotland today. I am looking forward to hear more modern poetry in St. Andrews in March.