After the ‘Victims of a Map’ seminar and reception at Kellogg College, I scooted off to Oxford station to catch the train to Paddington – Euston – night sleeper to Edinburgh- morning train to Leuchars- taxi to St Andrews where the StAnza Festival is held. I just about had time to change and have a coffee then run to the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) where I ran a workshop – ‘Voicing the Past: their wars, your words’ which went very well. At one point we listened to a recording of birdsong and then a recording of battlefield gunfire and wrote about the different effects. I asked’ Supposed we lost birdsong, what would that be like? To have no birds?’ Some lovely work came out of it and we’re now making a haiku sequence.
After the workshop I changed into a more glittery outfit and went to the Byre T Theatre where I was honoured to have been ivied to launch the festival with Louis de Bernieres and American poet Brian Turner who fought in Iraq and whose poetry collection, Here Bullet, won many prizes.
On the next day, I gave a reading at the Town Hall with Scots poet Maggie Rabatski. The great thing about Stanza is the feeling of being in a poetic community – for example, there were four poets staying in my B&B with me and we talked about poetry at breakfast which was lovely.