StAnza is back!

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Scotland’s international poetry festival, StAnza, normally takes place in St Andrews in March but has been moved online this year as Covid-19 restrictions continue. It will run between March 6th and 14th.

The 2021 programme will focus on languages from countries of the former Eastern Bloc under the title Beyond The Iron Curtain and mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union.

The festival will feature poets and events dedicated to languages of Ukraine, Georgia, Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and North Macedonia. And in addition, there will be events celebrating poetry and culture from these Eastern Bloc countries.

StAnza is also one of Europe’s leading literary festivals and it traditionally focuses on two interwoven themes and this year’s themes are ‘Make It New and Nor Rhyme Nor Reason.’ Award-winning poets taking part include Kateryna Babkina, Ilya Kaminsky Lyuba Yakimchuk, Bela Cherurishvili and Eta Dahlia.

Festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: “We’re delighted to be marking the 30th anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union with a focus on poetry from countries of the former Eastern Bloc under the title Beyond the Iron Curtain.

“We are delighted to offer a platform to a diverse range of poets from these countries to celebrate their culture as part of our first digital festival.”

Viccy Adams, literature officer with Creative Scotland, said contemporary poetry is thriving across the country. “It’s a multi-lingual space which welcomes new voices as well as celebrating the achievements of our established poets,” she said.

“StAnza’s inventive and considerate programming offers something of interest to many communities, both at home and abroad. The 2021 festival will give us all a chance to escape briefly the ongoing implications of the pandemic, explore from our armchairs and enjoy the thrills of poetry in different languages, forms and collaborations.”

She added: “Creative Scotland is delighted to once again be supporting the festival to bring the boldest and the most poignant voices of different generations together.”


Events are free but ticketed and can be secured online.

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