Monday, March 19, 2007

StAnza 1

Yesterday evening at the end-of-StAnza party, a certain unidentifiable person with a vast knowledge of cows, who had organised a large gathering of over 100 poets that afternoon at an unidentifiable Scottish poetry festival, asked me if I would be writing about StAnza on my blog. I told him I would.

This unidentifiable person then asked me if I planned to mask people’s identities when writing about them to avoid any impression of literary gossip – for example, “the artistic director of a large Scottish Poetry festival was telling me…” or “a man with a white beard who wasn’t Douglas Dunn and who recently helped to bring a whole load of dead poets to life happened to remark that…” or “a former American poet laureate with the initials MS happened to say…”

This was of course good humoured Scottish sarcasm. I do plan to write a short series of blog posts on the StAnza festival, but it goes without saying that Surroundings does not (often) indulge in gossip and innuendo, not even that of a literary nature. Who lunched together, what they were overheard saying, the romances, the jealousies, the bitter arguments – these I will keep to myself. But the poetry, the performances, and all the angles one could think of employing when reflecting on a poetry festival will receive full coverage.

You read it here first.

8 comments:

Nicole said...

"A certain unidentifiable person with a vast knowledge of cows," that could be anybody from my state! :) Sounds like a good time.

Angie said...

You are a good man, Rob.

(Maybe just a little gossip? - no? *sigh*)

Rob said...

Heh. Nicole, everyone who was at StAnza will know exactly who I mean, and many more Scottish poetry people besides!

So I'm not so good, Angie. But this post was just a spot of fun.

Colin Will said...

You're in George Szirtes' blog, Rob, and in a very nice way. George's lecture is now up on the StAnza site, which I'm now re-jigging to include feedback in an AfterWords page.

Rachel said...

Hello Rob. Checking in as I said I would. Gossip? What have i missed?

Rob said...

Colin, I was really pleased with what GS said in his blog, and it was good of him to come to the reading. A feedback page on the lecture would be great. I'm still trying to take it all in.

Rachel, nice to hear from you. I talked to loads of people through the week. My head is still buzzing with those conversations, but although there was little that could be considered 'gossip', I guess most of it isn't for public consumption. Not if I want people to talk to me at future festivals.
I was hoping other people might tell me what I had missed!

Mark McGuinness said...

What no gossip? Now I regret missing it even more!

The Magma people who went said it was terrific and someone reported meeting you, but I can't remember who.

Rob said...

Mark, I met both David and Helen from Magma, and also Lorraine Mariner who was one of the three poets from the Magma reading.

The latest issue arrived while I was at StAnza. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. But I will soon. I'm trying to catch up at work after a week's absence and have failed miserably so far.