From poets who have written autobiographies, to at least one poet we know tantalisingly little about, here are the people behind this year's NPD poems.

Read more about each one, to find more of their poems on our website and what you can borrow from us, as well as  more online information to explore.

Julia Donaldson

‘There’s no such thing as a Gruffalo!’  Julia Donaldson is the author of picture books, fiction for young adults and over twenty plays for children. With illustrator Axel Scheffler, she created the hugely popular Gruffalo series, and she was the UK Children’s Laureate from 2011 to 2013.

Julia Donaldson's official website

Alec Finlay

‘this work is a prediction.. it’s an unfolding, where there is no perfect moment in the work, I like that feeling of an evolving sculpture’. Artist, poet and publisher Alec Finlay commenting on his new piece A Variety of Cultures, but it could equally be a comment on the lines from The Book of Why?

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Alec Finlay's blog

William & Norah Montgomerie

The folklore scholar and poet William Montgomerie and his wife, artist Norah (née Shargool), met in post-war Dundee, where he was a teacher and she was an illustrator for D. C. Thomson. The nursery rhymes and singing games they collected, in what became the modern classic Sandy Candy, captured a snapshot of the lives of Scottish children. 

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John Barbour

Barbour was promoted at lightening speed, from young churchman in Dunkeld to archdeacon of Aberdeen in 1356. He wrote his epic poem on The Bruce in the 1370s: this version was edited and translated by the historian A.A.M. Duncan.

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Read more about A. A. M. Duncan

Kathleen Jamie

Kathleen Jamie is one of the leading writers of her generation, a poet, essayist and travel writer. Her latest book, The Bonniest Companie (2015) originated in a resolve to write a poem a week in 2014, the year of the referendum on Scottish independence.

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Kathleen Jamie at the University of Stirling

Pàdraig MacAoidh / Peter Mackay

One of the rising stars of Gaelic poetry, a native Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Lewis and an academic, writer and broadcaster who now teaches at the University of St Andrews.

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Ciaràn Carson

Ciaràn Carson, who made the translation of Peter Mackay's poem, was born into an Irish-speaking family in Belfast, and through a prize-winning writing career his work has resonated with issues of language and identity.

Ciaràn Carson page on British Council Literature