Kathleen Jamie is Scotland's new Makar
18 August 2021
Poet and essayist Kathleen Jamie has been
appointed as Scotland's next Makar.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon formally welcomed her to the role
at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. The photo above of
Kathleen Jamie and Nicola Sturgeon is by Jenny Brown.
The role of Makar involves taking a leadership role in promoting
poetry nationally, as well as producing work relating to
significant national events.
Ms Jamie was appointed by the First Minister for a three-year
term on the recommendation of an expert panel representing
Scotland's literary sector.
She is the fourth person to hold the role since it was
established by the Scottish Parliament in 2004, following in the
footsteps of Jackie Kay, Liz Lochhead, and Edwin Morgan.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
"I am delighted to confirm Kathleen Jamie as our national
"Poetry is integral to Scotland's culture and history. The Makar
has a central role in celebrating that legacy, and preserving its
future by encouraging the next generation of young writers to leave
"Kathleen is a highly accomplished poet who is known for her
works in English and Scots, and the meaningful connections her
writing draws between our lives and the landscape around us. I have
no doubt she will continue to build on the exceptional work of her
predecessors to promote Scottish poetry both here and abroad."
Kathleen Jamie said:
"I am honoured and delighted to be appointed as
Scotland's new Makar. The post confirms a weel-kent truth: that
poetry abides at the heart of Scottish culture, in all our
languages, old and new. It's mysterious, undefinable and bold. It
runs deep and sparkles at once.
"Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay and the late Edwin Morgan have held
this post before me, a trio of major poets. If I can achieve half
of their outreach, humour and wisdom, not to mention their
wonderful verse, I'll be doing well. I am grateful to the
selection panel for such a vote of confidence in my work, and to
the First Minister for her endorsement and support.
"My task as I see it is to meet folk, to support and encourage
poetry, to laugh and lament and witness, and occasionally speak to
our national life. I'm excited to begin."
For the full press release of 18 August 2021, see the Scottish Government website.