FORMER Scots Makar Liz Lochhead will take the stage as the country’s international poetry festival explores issues of borders.

Lochhead is amongst the literary figures set to appear as the StAnza festival turns 21.

The five-night run in St Andrews will include Sinead Morrissey, who recently won the prestigious Forward Prize for Poetry, and South Korea’s prolific Ko Un, who was repeatedly imprisoned and tortured for his opposition to the military regime in the 1970s-80s.

Stirling roofer turned writer William Letford has also been booked, along with Gillian Allnutt, who was awarded The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry earlier this year.

Organisers branded the bunch “an outstanding line-up of talent” and said audiences can expect content that explores the themes of borderlines, which involves a “world connected through culture but divided on maps”, and the self.

Meanwhile, Dutch, Flemish and Frisian-speaking writers will take part as the festival focuses on the languages of the Netherlands.

More than 80 separate sessions will be held in all.

Festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: “We are thrilled to be launching the programme for StAnza 2018, which will be our 21st anniversary festival. To mark this hugely exciting milestone we will be adding a few twists to the usual favourites on our programme.

“StAnza 2018 will showcase some of the biggest names in the literary world alongside some of the newest and brightest talent to celebrate poetry in all its forms and we’re delighted to be announcing details of this today.”

Poet and jazz musician Don Paterson will appear in conversation with Marie-Elsa Bragg, daughter of Melvyn Bragg, and the festival will open with a gala performance featuring a selection of headliners reading and performing, as well as music, film and art.

Alan Bett, literature officer for Creative Scotland, said: “StAnza has firmly established itself as among Europe’s leading showcases of contemporary poetry, celebrating Scotland’s most acclaimed poets and emerging talent, performing alongside their international counterparts. Scotland is a nation replete with literary talent and this year’s programme once again reflects this, offering a range of voices that includes William Letford, Liz Lochhead, Miriam Nash and Don Paterson.

“The festival themes for 2018 engage with pertinent and significant issues impacting upon us all, from the borders that separate us on maps to the issue of self in both political and personal form. This combination taps directly into literature’s important role of bringing people together to make sense of the world we live in.”