Stanza and deliver!

THE Off the Stanza poetry competition - part of the Stirling Book Festival - is looking for people to take part.

Once again it will be judged by Stirling Makar Magi Gibson who is looking forward to reading this year’s entries.

Last year the poems submitted covered a wide range of topics and styles.

Entries will be accepted in English or Scots to be submitted by Friday, July 31. A shortlist will be announced by mid August, inviting finalists to attend an Evening of Poetry, hosted by Magi Gibson, who will introduce the poets and their readings before the official prize-giving ceremony.

First prize is a Sony e-reader and a £50 book token. Book tokens will also be given to the runners up. Entry forms from www.stirling.gov.uk/offthestanza2011.pdf

Trust’s Shakey break

MEMBERS of the Bearsden and Milngavie National Trust Centre have returned from their short break to Stratford Upon Avon.

While there, they visited some very interesting National Trust Properties in glorious weather including Hidcote Gardens and Upton House.

They also saw round Shakespeare’s 16th century birthplace cottage, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre.

Members attended a three hour production of The Merchant of Venice, updated and relocated to present day Las Vegas.

A spokesman said: “Sir Patrick Stewart played a superb Shylock - traditional but in modern dress!

“Susannah Fielding’s Portia was played as a blonde American belle with high heels and twittering voice, which did not work well.

“Add in an on-stage band, Lorenzo dressed up as Batman, and a very real Elvis Presley who sang a few Elvis songs. This added up to good entertainment but slightly disappointing if you were there to see Shakespeare.

“While it poured in Milngavie the sun shone in Stratford-on-Avon and the trip was expertly organised by Pamela and Gordon Rutherford.”

Competition winner

THE winner of a pair of tickets to see Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Botanics in the west end of Glasgow is Gillian Millar of Moraine Drive, Blairdardie.