StAnza is Scotland’s annual international poetry festival, which takes place in March in St Andrews. 2022 will be a hybrid festival, making the most of StAnza’s experience online in 2021 while hoping that the open and welcoming atmosphere of its in-person festival can be re-established.
Through The Second Life Award scheme, the Edwin Morgan Trust is supporting a new initiative, Scotland’s Young Makars, appropriately, as Morgan was the first poet to be appointed Scots Makar (national poet). This is a programme to encourage young people across the country to develop their poetry-writing interests and skills, with online workshops offered by lively and experienced poetry tutors. Those judged to have produced the best work over the course of the programme will be invited to read at StAnza.
I’m thrilled to be launching a pilot of our Scotland’s Young Makars programme this year with the support of the Edwin Morgan Trust, Old Possum’s Practical Trust and Event Scotland. When I worked as a university poetry lecturer, I was always struck by how many new students would arrive in my class and hold their hands up in horror, proclaiming, ‘But I just don’t get poetry!’ Back then it became something of a mission for me to redress this gap, and Scotland’s Young Makars offers an even greater opportunity to enthuse and engage young people from all backgrounds in this most under-rated form! Last year demonstrated how useful digital means can be to reach new audiences, and this format will enable young poets from Lerwick to Gretna to participate.Lucy Burnett, Festival Director
The Edwin Morgan Trust is also providing a bursary to a poet from an under-represented background so that they can attend the festival in person. The 2022 poet in residence will be announced in the coming months. Previous StAnza poets in residence have been:
2021 – Saili Katebe
2020 – Robbie Anndra MacLeòid
2019 – Caroline Teague
2018 – David Eyre