Tomorrow I’m flying to Edinburgh, where a taxi awaits my arrival to bring me to St Andrews, where StAnza – Scotland’s International Poetry Festival is taking place. Yes, I’m going to StAnza. As a poet and as this year’s Guest Blogger! You can imagine that I’m quite excited!
Everything, absolutely everything, the cab, the hotel, the flight is arranged for me. All hail to the organization who make me feel like a VIP.
So for this trip I’ve packed my backpack and not my panniers. No tent, no stove, no sleeping bag, no sweaty cycling clothing. I’ve written down my schedule when a reading or workshop is taking place, and not the towns I’ll be cycling through. Although the coming blog posts will be more concentrated on literature and on poetry in particular, the organization has hired a bicycle for me at Spokes (yes they arranged that as well). On Wednesday I will be spending the day to have a look around the city of St Andrews and its nearby surroundings. I am very excited to try out how it is to be cycling in Scotland (yes I know I have to ride on the wrong, I mean on the left side of the road), since next time I’ll be crossing the Channel I would like to go there with my own bike, and have more than just a week. And I wouldn’t mind if my girlfriend is joining me then.
But I’m trailing off. The coming days I’m writing about my experiences at StAnza. At first about the festival and St Andrews in general,. Later on it’ll be more specific about the translation session I’m attending on Saturday. My Frisian colleague Sigrid Kingma and I will translate two Scottish poems by Rachel Plummer and Stewart Sanderson into Frisian, and they will translate two of our poems into Scottish. On Sunday we have to talk about that process. Where were the difficulties, where the joys of translating etc.
On top of that comes the fact that I’ve never been to StAnza, but I have heard of fellow poets that it’s pretty awesomesauce and from what I’ve seen on the internet I believe them at once. Actually I have to confess, that I’ve never been to a poetry festival before. Of course I did quite a few performances and stuff like that, but I even have never been as a spectator at such a festival. I suppose that StAnza is a good one to start with.