Seven Stanzas about StAnza
How best to preview the programme at this year's StAnza Poetry Festival? There's no way we can cover all the highlights. So here are a few, but written in verse. Why? Consider it a test – if you can get through this nonsense, you'll bloody love StAnza...
Previewing poetry in kind would seem
Appropriate in this situation
So I’ll use the ottava rima scheme,
A facetious form of low reputation,
It should fit in The Skinny like a dream.
It’s sure to draw reader indignation
But if challenged, I’ll say it’s a mockery
Most of the rhymes don’t even work properly.
StAnza begins with an event for Burns
March Thirteenth, at the festival’s start
And after this, live poets get their turns
To dazzle us with literary art.
I bet the first thing a poet learns,
Before ignoring the head for the heart
Is that preview verse will make you crabby
This type of thing never troubled Rabbie.
But enough silly complaining for now
Let’s look at some StAnza programme choices
For promising poets, workshops can endow
Writers with stronger poetic voices
And Inspire Sessions could start to show how
To turn ideas into sweet new noises
The daily workshops are there to be used…
But the StAnza Slam is there to amuse
Chris Young, last year’s winner, is back for more
And appears at another event too,
The Scottish Slam champ Young Dawkins won’t bore
But will both compete? Let’s hope that they do
In proper battle that settles the score.
But the win’s not certain – it could well be you
StAnza’s Slam’s an open competition –
To win you just need to be a magician.
I’m neglecting listings. Who else will grace
The St Andrew’s stage? Well, there’s Jackie Kay
With shows for kids and adults, always ace,
And Kathleen Jamie appears on Sunday,
Glaswegians in the Clydebuilt Showcase,
And there’s even a Denise Mina play
Karen Dunbar stars, like a guided missile,
It’s called A Drunk Woman Looks At the Thistle.
There are plenty of film screenings to see
Like Submarine, from Joe Dunthorne’s fine book
Or Psycho Poetica which should be
Amazing to see if you get a look
But other films are more my cup of tea
Like FilmPoem Live, by Alastair Cook
And I’m rather intrigued by poetry loops
A set of short films on poems and books.
As a StAnza taster this strange piece should
Hopefully send you online to their site
Which gives more detail than I ever could
About Christopher Reid, Lyn Moir or Jazz Night.
If I had unlimited space I would,
Probably not stop – there’s too much to write
But that’s all for now, that’s all we can fit in
And besides, this thing is terribly written.