There's still a few weeks ago but I am already buzzing about attending StAnza Festival in St Andrews this year. I have heard so many good echoes about it over the years: from the quality of its output to the atmosphere.
It's a little nerve-wracking that my first visit coincides with the last performance of The Shipwrecked House. It's exciting too, as so many people at the Festival won't have seen it before. I visited St Andrews for the first time last year, and it feels like the perfect setting for this farewell.
I now have to start unrusting myself, relearn my lines. I love and dread the familiarity of my preparations.
This post was prompted by Fiona Moore's blog, who will be the blogger in residence at the Festival. Fiona won the Best Reviewer title at last year's Saboteur Awards, which is a testament both to the quality of her writing and the esteem in which she is held by her contemporaries. I recommend you follow her blog to get her characteristically insightful commentary on the Festival.
I’ve only ever been to poetry festivals in small places – Aldeburgh, Ledbury. The StAnza programme’s map of St Andrews shows a cathedral and a castle; the venue list includes the town hall, a theatre, a church undercroft, a museum, the public library, the university library and two university quad(rangle)s. So the festival becomes part of the fabric of the town. It’s clearly very welcome there: when the theatre, the Byre, collapsed (financially) a couple of years ago just before StAnza, locals rallied round to offer alternative venues.