If ever a poet understood the character of his nation, he was Robert Burns. The language he was most fluent in wasn’t so much Scots or English – it was the language of the heart.
Carol Ann Duffy
The first female, Scottish Poet Laureate in the role's 400 year history, Carol Ann Duffy's combination of tenderness and toughness, humour and lyricism, unconventional attitudes and conventional forms, has won her a very wide audience of readers and listeners.
Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She has published five collections of poetry for adults (The Adoption Papers won the Forward Prize, a Saltire Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book Award) and several for children. She was awarded an MBE in 2006.
Appointed Scots Makar – the National Poet for Scotland – from 2011 to 2016, Liz Lochhead is both transgressive and popular; as Anne Varty wrote, ‘her work is that of one woman speaking to many, and one person speaking for many’.
A poet who divided his life and the attention of his poetry between Assynt in the West Highlands, and the city of Edinburgh, Norman MacCaig combined ‘precise observation with creative wit’, and wrote with a passion for clarity.
Sorley MacLean's mastery of his chosen medium and his engagement with the European poetic tradition and European politics make him one of the major Scottish poets of the modern era.
Morgan was Glasgow’s first Poet Laureate 1999-2002, and the first to hold the post of Scots Makar, created by the Scottish Executive in 2004 to recognise the achievement of Scottish poets throughout the centuries.
Since the appearance of his first collection in 1993, Don Paterson has emerged a major poet, as well as an important anthologist, editor and critic.