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StAnza reveals a raft of big stars & new voices

StAnza QuoteScotland’s International Poetry Festival StAnza has revealed its programme for 2014. Among this year’s impressive line up of talent will be Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, John Burnside and Paul Muldoon – all giants of the poetry world.

However, the annual festival, which this year takes place between 5-9 March in St Andrews, has also  become synonymous with new voices over the years. This year is set to be no different with two recent winners of the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, as well as a number of winners of the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award among the fresh talent showcased in the 2014 programme.

It is not just those who are new to writing who are among this year’s new voices. StAnza is delighted to introduce two veterans of the literary world yet newcomers to poetry. Gerda Stevenson who has recently published her first poetry collection following a long, very successful career as an actor and play and screen writer as well as festival headliner Louis de Bernieres, a successful novelist but new poetry voice with a first collection published just last year are both impressive additions to this year’s programme.

StAnza QuoteFestival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: “We take great care year after year to ensure we have a programme which is fresh and inspiring. Being able to introduce new voices in the poetry world to audiences is certainly one of the most rewarding and exciting parts of running StAnza and this year will be no different with a fantastic line up of newcomers”.

Among the new voices performing at StAnza 2014 are Dan O’Brien and J. O. Morgan who are both winners of the Aldeburgh First Collection prize which is awarded for first full collections published in the UK or Ireland. Unusually Dan O’Brien who picked up the award just last November is from California but his work was published by UK small press CB Editions making him eligible for the prize. J.O Morgan gained the title in 2009 with his first book, Natural Mechanical, which was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize. And for more home grown talent, look no further than Michael Pedersen, half of the duo behind Edinburgh’s Neu Reekie phenomena, whose first collection from Polygon last year, Play  with Me, won rave reviews, including from Stephen Fry.StAnza Quote

The programme also boasts a number of slam winners including Carly Brown who won last year’s StAnza slam, qualifying her for the Scottish slam which she subsequently won and went on to take fourth place in the World Slam Championship in Paris last June. Sophia Walker, winner of the BBC slam at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August and Graeme Hawley, winner of the 2013 Luminate slam in Edinburgh are also joining this year’s line up.

Finally, every poet taking part in the Saturday Showcase has won the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.

StAnza QuoteFor updates on StAnza, including information on purchasing tickets, visit their website here.

StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival is funded by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, Homecoming Scotland 2014 and Fife Council, with support from the University of St Andrews.