Poems Aloud! audience in the Byre Studio Theatre
The University Library’s annual contribution to the StAnza (poetry festival) programme, Poems Aloud! 2018, was held once again in the Byre Theatre, but this year in the cosier surroundings of the Studio Theatre. StAnza Chair Dr Robyn Marsack introduced the event, which was then compered by University Librarian John MacColl. Thirteen student competitors recited poems from the works of StAnza’s headline poets from this year’s events. All participants did an excellent job, and because of the tough competition the panel of judges took somewhat longer than their scheduled five minutes to reach a decision! While they deliberated, the audience was entertained by Hannah Raymond-Cox, an award-winning spoken word poet, actor and writer living and working in London – who also happens to be a St Andrews graduate.
The judges finally emerged to announce that the winner of the £100 prize was Maths student Edisher Kipiani, who had recited ‘Concerning Shadows’ by Dundonian poet John Glenday.
Edisher Kipiani awarded Poems Aloud! 2018 prize by University Principal Sally Mapstone
Edisher was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and is named after his grandfather, a writer and poet. He has lived in the UK since 2009 and is a published translator of poetry into both English and Georgian. The prize was presented by University Principal Professor Sally Mapstone, who commended Edisher’s compelling performance, but also provided comments on several other competitors who had delivered their lines with fluency and the evocative quality that makes a recited poem memorable.
John MacColl, University Librarian congratulates Edisher Kipiani
Congratulations to all of our student competitors, who – as usual – came from a wide range of countries and studied a wide range of subjects, but all of whom were clearly passionate about poetry in the English language (though we also had one poem wonderfully delivered in Scots, by School of English poet Don Paterson). The audience seemed delighted by the standard of recitation, and the particular tenderness of hearing a poem read by someone other than its author.