6 Must-See Events at StAnza

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armitage chris boland
As you read these words, the planet’s finest wordsmiths are descending on our tiny three-street town. Don’t just sit there, do something. Paralysed by choice? No fear. With The Saint’s handy guide, you can get your poetry-fix for less than a fiver.
Poetry Café: Agnes Török & Toby Campion
Thu 5 March, 1.00-1.45pm,
Byre Theatre (Studio), £4.50
 Globe-trotting slam champ Agnes Török won a Best Show award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Here, she’s joined by comic poet and BBC slam finalist Toby Campion. Expect a fast-paced, funny, life-affirming performance.
Border Crossings: Kim Moore & John Dennison
Thu 5 March, 2.15-3.15pm,
Town Hall, £2.75
 At £2.75, this is crazy cheap. Kiwi poet (and former St Andrews grad) John Dennison is one of the most promising poets around at the moment. His first book, Otherwise, was only published last Thursday (26), but is already generating a lot of buzz. Meanwhile, Eric Gregory Award-winner Kim Moore will be offering a sneak-peek at her debut, The Art of Falling, before it’s released in April. Catch ’em now before they’re famous
Writing Motherhood: Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Hollie McNish & Kathryn Maris
Fri 6 March, 11.30am-12.30pm,
Town Hall, £2.75
Hollie McNish is one of the UK’s leading performance-poets. If you’re one of the millions who’ve seen her poetry on YouTube, don’t miss this chance to catch her in the flesh. McNish, Maris & Jess-Cooke will be talking about the issues facing female poets, and the impact motherhood has had on their work.
The Shipwrecked House
Fri 6 March, 3.30-4.30pm,
Byre Theatre (Auditorium), £3.75
This is definitely for you if you want to try something a little different. Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien’s enigmatic one-woman show blends poetry and theatre, memory and myth. Her poetry was nominated for a Guardian First Book Award, and she’s clearly a serious theatrical talent too:The Shipwrecked House has already been gathering five-star reviews.
Poetry Market
Sat 7 March, 12.00-4.00pm,
Town Hall, Free
 Does what it says on the tin. Books are great. Buy one!
Kei Miller & Simon Armitage
Sat 7 March, 8.00-10.00pm,
Byre Theatre (Auditorium), £7.00
 It’s a little more than a fiver, but this is the single most fantastic event at this year’s StAnza. A double-bill of Britain most exciting and respected voices. Jamaican-born Miller won last year’s Forward Prize for The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, an astonishing blend of song, prose, verse and Rastafarian prayer. It made me laugh, cry and shudder. Miller is a spellbinding performer of his work. You may remember Simon Armitage from the English GCSE syllabus. He’s there for a reason. Armitage is a genuine original, who’s inspired a whole new style of British poetry. His self-effacing manner and mellow Huddersfield accent believe the dark wit of his poems. Writers, take note: Armitage is also running a writing masterclass at 11.15 am on Sunday,and it’s likely to sell out soon.
Image (c) Chris Boland

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