Highlights for me were Gillian Clarke reading from 'Ice', and explaining the principles of cynghanedd - and Eurig Salisbury reading in Welsh. Mark Doty read a beautiful poem about a - dog. Rare, that, but this one was perfectly weighted, humane, moving. Wasn't really just about the dog.
Carrie Akroyd's work on John Clare. You felt it was a collaboration.
Alvin Pang was great, and over my last Poetry Breakfast I heard him reading in Chinese, and then the translation. All the Poetry Breakfast discussions were absorbing. I especially enjoyed listening to friends Dave Borthwick and Andy Forster talking with Mandy Haggith and Carry Akroyd about how poetry engages with the environment. I had to rush from that one though, to beat my way through Arctic winds to St. John's Undercroft for my reading with Zoe Skoulding.
Which was a sell-out, especially appreciated as it was the official launch of my first collection from Oversteps Books, 'Not Lost Since Last Time'. (Mandy Haggith told me later how she got the last ticket). I had a lovely audience, and since I went first I was able to enjoy listening to Zoe's work too.
John Burnside's Masterclass was fascinating, and ran to time, though I could have taken more. Dumfries and Galloway poet Em Strang put in a tremendously strong poem, as did Fife based poet Barbara Davey.
|Jean Johnstone's book (collaboration with Jane Hirshfield)|
And I loved 'Unmapped' an exhibition and poetry book by poet Rebecca Sharp and artist Anna King.
|Gael Turnbull's 'The Edinburgh Poem'|
And I played with Gael Turnbull's famous 'Edinburgh Poem' (slot the words together in magical serendipitous ways that always work).
And met Maureen Sangster and Paula Jennings, and admired their work on the collaborative Farlin project, involving artists and poets from Fife and Shetland. And we all missed The Byre as a venue, and hope it'll be back before long, but the spirit of StAnza certainly remained in place. And John Hegley and Jacob Sam la Rose were just great, as was Erin Moure's twinkly humour and experimental mind. I could go on, but it's my bedtime.
Basically, if you can get to StAnza next year, go.