Leading poets from Hungary will be among the big names from the literary world taking part in StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival in March. Mónika Ferencz, Balázs Szőllőssy and Krisztina Tóth will perform at the annual festival in the Scottish town of St Andrews in Fife.
StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival is held every March in St Andrews and runs one-off events throughout the year. The festival has as its hub, the Byre Theatre, and many of its events which are expected to exceed 100 next year are held in other venues around St Andrews, including the Town Hall and St Johns, a mediaeval undercroft.
Mónika Ferencz was born in March 1991 in Budapest. She has been publishing poems in different journals since 2013, and since 2015 has also published translations. She received the Mihály Babits Translators’ Grant in spring 2016, and participated in literary translation workshops organized by the Petőfi Literary Museum in Budapest (2016) and the Association of Young Writers (FISZ, 2017). Her first volume of poetry, Hátam mögött dél, was published in spring 2017.
Balázs Szőllőssy (1981) is a poet, editor and cultural organiser born in Budapest, Hungary. He is the member and was until recently board member of the Association of Young Writers in Hungary. His first book of poetry, Two Meanings of Freedom, was published in 2010, and his second, In Presso Viewpoint, is due early 2019. He is a member of several other NGOs and have been organizing a number of festivals, readings and cultural organizations in the past decade in the Hungarian cultural scene. He currently works as cultural attaché at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Istanbul, Turkey.
Krisztina Tóth is one of the most highly acclaimed Hungarian writers. She is the winner of several awards, including the Graves Prize (1996), the József Attila Prize (2000) and the Laureate Prize, (2008), one of the highest recognitions in Hungarian literature. Her poems have strong connections with different Hungarian and European poetic traditions (she translates French poetry), and their trademark is a subtle combination of strong visual elements, intellectual reflection and a very empathic, yet often ironic concern with everyday scenes, conflicts and people. A writer engaged in the poetics of body, her work is often understood to be ‘ecriture feminine’. She is acknowledged as one of the best contemporary writers of central Europe. Krisztina Tóth lives in Budapest, and her poetry and prose have been translated into more than fifteen languages.
Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said:
“We’re delighted to welcome such prestigious poets from Hungary to perform at StAnza this year. The festival traditionally has a strong international focus and this year’s programme is no different with a fantastic line-up of acclaimed poets from both here in Scotland and all around the world.”
Mairi Kidd, Interim Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland added: “StAnza’s superb programming continues for 2019 with another vibrant mix of well established-names and up-and-coming talent and two fascinating interlinked themes pushing the boundaries for poetry. There are many treats for poetry lovers and music, film, art and more to entice in those who may have previously thought poetry wasn’t for them.”
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting StAnza again through our Beacon Programme. This year’s festival promises to be another great event, and it’s wonderful to see so many renowned international names on the bill, alongside Scottish talent. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events, and we look forward to welcoming visitors from the area and further afield to this world-class festival this March.”
StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour.
This year’s themes are Off the Page and Another Place. Off the Page will explore poetry’s relationship with the medium it’s written on and will enjoy poetry presented in ways which aren’t in conventional book form. With the concept of ‘the other’ seeming ever more charged, Another Place will showcase poets who look beyond the familiar to explore new places and ideas. It will engage with the positive and negative, from the benefit to poets of experiencing new places, to concerns that climate change, extremism, etc. are threatening the future and turning it into another place.
StAnza is one of the top poetry festivals in the UK, famous for its friendly atmosphere and international focus. Over five days from 6th to 10th March more than 100 readings, performances, discussions, poetry inspired installations and exhibitions and other cross-media performances will take place in a range of atmospheric venues in and around the historic and lively town of St Andrews, Scotland.