StAnza Poetry Festival Highlights

Scotsman critic Susan Mansfield on the must-see shows of this year’s event

Caroline Bird

This year’s festival provides a chance to hear twice from St Andrews’ own John Burnside giving the StAnza 2019 lecture (7 March, 3:30pm) and reading his own work in a double bill with AE Stallings (7 March, 8pm). There’s also a chance to hear much loved Scottish poets Alan Spence (7 March, 5pm) and Angus Peter Campbell (8 March, 11:30am).

Poets from the past will be brought back to life, a highlight being Tom Pow talking about his friend and collaborator Alastair Reid (9 March, 2:15pm) and there is a chance to hear voices from other countries, including a showcase of Palestinian poets (10 March, 1pm) featuring Ghayath Almadhoun and Mustafa Abu Sneineh reading alongside their translators, Catherine Cobham and Katharine Halls.

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Welsh poet Menna Elfyn will share a bill with Jacqueline Saphra, the dynamic writer of All My Mad Mothers (8 March, 8pm) while Jamaica-born Ishion Hutchinson will read with Caroline Bird (9 March, 8pm) making a double bill of accomplished and diverse young voices.

John Burnside

The StAnza Poetry Festival is in various venues, St Andrews, from 6-10 March, see

Ishion Hutchison