StAnza poetry festival under way in St Andrews

Founded in 1998 and now recognised as one of Europe’s major poetry festivals, StAnza is underway again in St Andrews.

Among the big hitters making an appearance this weekend are the writer, musician and climber, Andrew Greig, and Catherine Lockerbie, the former director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Taking place in the Town Hall this afternoon, Greig’s event will hear him discussing the importance of place in his and others’ writing – one of the main themes of this year’s festival.

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Almost certainly on a lighter note, Sally Crabtree will be introducing the concept of poetry bingo in the same venue earlier on this afternoon. One imagines that participants have to shout “Haiku!” rather than “House!” when they get a complete set of iambic pentameters.

Further down the east coast, this is the opening weekend for a new exhibition in the Queen’s Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. “Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East” is the result of a four-month educational trip which the then Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, took in the region in 1862. British photographer Francis Bedford documented the expedition which took in Egypt, Palestine and the Holy Land, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. The Prince travelled by horse and camped in tents. It doesn’t sound entirely dissimilar to Prince Harry’s tours of duty in Afghanistan. Well, the tents part anyway.

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To wrap up, we have two suggestions which may spoil your sleep. The first is a new exhibition of works by Kirsty Whiten at the Recoat gallery in Glasgow. The Edinburgh College of Art graduate’s unsettling new show is called West End Bestiary and it mixes contemporary urban phenomena with mythical creatures. One piece is called Schemie Centaurs.

Alternatively, rock up to Edinburgh’s Cameo cinema tonight for their sixth All Night Horror Madness. Starting at 11pm, they will be showing The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, Braindead, Hospital Massacre, The Beyond and They Live.

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