March already, which means StAnza – Scotland’s international poetry festival. I’ve got my tickets, my digs are booked, and this afternoon I’ll start to pack, knowing that I’ll forget something – I always do.
I’m introducing three events this year, but the primary role of the Chair is to network, to make sure everyone feels welcome – which they are – and to assist the Director, Eleanor Livingstone, and her team. The Festival kicks off on Wednesday, with a launch by Louis de Bernières, Brian Turner and Jenny Lewis. In the evening there’s a performance by Square Peg Contemporary Circus of words, dance and acrobatics inspired by The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
From Thursday until Sunday there’s a full programme of workshops, readings, spoken word events, discussions and exhibitions, and the great joy of meeting poets and audiences in the inspiring Byre Theatre, one of Scotland’s great assets, and around the town of St Andrews, that ancient, salty, windswept corner of Fife. It’s not just because I’m part Fifer that StAnza means home to me. Come in and pull up a chair.