The Byre Theatre,
With events taking place at venues all over the town’s historic centre, it encompasses recitals, music, talks, film, masterclasses exhibitions and workshops, featuring dozens of the most influential poets writing today.
This year, Drammen-born poet Jon Ståle Ritland will be joining the likes of Simon Armitage, Alice Notley and Glyn Maxwell at the festival, showcasing his pioneering works of ‘three-dimensional’ poetry.
Trained in medicine at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Ritland is a professional ophthalmologist, and his fascination for anatomy and medical science has influenced both the content and form of his works. Inspired by the ‘grammar of the genes’ and the molecular structure of DNA, he published Kroppsvisitasjoner in 2004 (translated into English as Body Searches in 2013).
For StAnza, Ritland and his collaborator, Dutch artist Michael Koelink, have created BodySearches/PoetryMachine, a digital installation that presents Ritland’s poems in a dynamic three-dimensional display, using associative connections between lines of poetry to create a moving network of verse that mimics the biochemical structures of the body.
The installation is running in the foyer of St Andrew’s Byre Theatre throughout the festival, and Ritland and Koelink will be on site at 2.15pm on Saturday 7 March to discuss their collaboration, as well as the intriguing new possibilities for the process of encountering poetry raised by their work.