A HOST of prizewinning poets are set to appear at Scotland’s International Poetry Festival next year, organisers have revealed.

StAnza festival, which takes place in the Fife seaside town of St Andrews, will see beloved Scots crime writer Val McDermid take to the stage to share her favourite poems at its debut Desert Island Poems event.

The line-up also includes the youngest ever winner of the TS Eliot Prize, Jen Hadfield, American poet, editor and human rights advocate Carolyn Forché, and British writer, artist, film programmer and activist Jay Bernard.

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Festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: “It’s always a pleasure to reveal the core programme for each StAnza festival and we’re delighted that next year’s line-up will be showcasing some of the biggest names in poetry, alongside some of the brightest new and upcoming talent for StAnza 2020.

“In just a few months we will be setting the stage to celebrate the spoken and written word in all its forms with a diverse and vibrant festival over five days in the beautiful Fife town of St Andrews. Our programme will focus on themes and subjects fitting with Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 and we look forward to revealing more details in coming weeks.”

StAnza, which will see over 100 events held across an array of venues in the town in March, will focus on the themes of Coast Lines and Due North as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

Viccy Adams, literature officer at Creative Scotland, said the 2020 festival will continue the event’s tradition of bringing “the world’s most exciting poetic voices to Fife’s doorstep”.

She went on: “I’m personally particularly excited to hear Jay Bernard, and to discover new voices in translation. As always, there is something for everyone, from avid poetry fans to those dipping their toes for the first time.”

Paul Bush OBE, director of events at VisitScotland – which is supporting StAnza – added Scotland is the “perfect stage to celebrate our home-grown poets and welcome international writers”.

StAnza will be held for five days from March 4 to March 8. Tickets go on sale in January.