Liz Lochhead is Scots Makar
Congratulations to poet and playwright Liz Lochhead, who has been awarded the position of Scots Makar, the national poet of Scotland. Liz Lochhead takes over the position following the death of the first Makar, Edwin Morgan, who died in August 2010. She was chosen by the First Minister and two previous First Ministers, Lord McConnell and Henry McLeish, with advice from the Literature Forum for Scotland. Her first official engagement will be to open the new Burns Museum on Friday 21st January.
The position was announced by the First Minister, Alex Salmond, who said:
"I am extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Liz Lochhead to the post of Scots Makar.
"In creating the post of national poet, the communities of Scotland demonstrated the importance it places on the many aspects of culture which lie at the heart of our identity. As an author, translator, playwright, stage performer, broadcaster and grande dame of Scottish theatre, Ms Lochhead embodies everything a nation would want from its national poet."
Ms Lochhead said:
"I am as delighted as I am surprised by this enormous honour., I accept it on behalf of poetry itself, which is, and always has been, the core of our culture, and in grateful recognition of the truth that poetry - the reading of it, the writing of it, the saying it out loud, the learning of it off by heart - all of this matters deeply to ordinary Scottish people everywhere."
Fellow poet and Scot, the poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, said:
"I am filled with professional, poetic and personal joy to hear today that Liz Lochhead is Scotland’s new Makar. Since her early work in the 1970s, she has been an inspirational presence in British poetry – funny, feisty, female, full of feeling; a fantastic performer of her work and a writer who has tirelessly brought poetry to the drama and drama into poetry."