Once upon a StAnza… Stories and narrative have long had an important role to play in our making sense of what it means to be human, to live in our communities and environment, and in negotiating change. We have taken a line from participant Holly Pester’s collection Comic Timing, ‘Stories like starting points’, as StAnza’s own starting point in proceeding to investigate the role of narrative in contemporary poetry. This will be Scotland’s ‘Year of Stories’: our festival will interpret that in the widest sense, and not only with narrative poets and artists. StAnza 2022 will explore the opportunities and pitfalls of stories, ranging over narrative poetry, prose poetry, re-writing old stories and imagining new ones, reportage, process / chance narratives, myth /epic; there will be poets who contest the power of narrative or of stories conventionally told, and those who experiment with it.
Over the coming years, Stanza aims to become an ‘intervention’ in poetry, which annually explores questions that are fundamental to the writing and reading of poetry and will engage poets and audiences alike. In this, our 25th year, our starting point is narrative, and the story of the 2022 festival begins right here!