Who would you like to see added to the Scottish Poetry Library’s Online Guide to Scottish Poets? Is there anyone you think deserves to be on it but is currently missing? The annual nomination process is now open until 31st January 2024.
The guide was produced to provide a reference for anyone researching Scottish poetry. At present, there are more than 900 entries, including both dead and living poets. To be eligible for inclusion to the Online Guide, poets (living or dead) must have been or be resident in Scotland or be Scottish by birth, upbringing or inclination.
It is important that the unique aspect of the Online Guide is not lost. Therefore it will be necessary to ensure that there is no duplication e.g. with the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature database which is geared more towards finding a writer or performer for an event. The inclusion of more biographical information as well as a critique of work by the poet will help to reiterate the original intent of the guide which is to show the importance of a poet in the Scottish literary landscape. Having a poem included in the annual publication ‘Best Scottish Poems’ will also ensure the selected poet will be added to the Online Guide to Scottish Poets.
Criteria for inclusion
To be selected for entry to the Online Guide to Scottish Poets, the individual must have made a significant contribution to the oral history, literature or languages of Scotland, or the status and stature of poetry in contemporary Scotland. Alternatively the poet must be able to meet three or more of the following criteria:
- Have a track record of publishing a significant body of work, excluding journalism, scholarly texts, or self-publications.
- The poet’s work is included in at least one anthology and more than two pamphlets have been published by an established publisher.
- The poet has been short-listed for or has won a major writing prize
- Has delivered spoken word performances (not readings) in the last five years that received positive reviews and were favourably written about.
- Has made or is making a significant contribution to the visibility of under-represented groups in Scottish poetry (class / race / language / disability etc.).
- Significant critical attention has been paid to the poet’s work by peers / academics / critics etc.
How to submit a poet’s name for consideration
Anyone can suggest the name of a poet for inclusion in the Online Guide to Scottish Poets, provided the suggestion is on a completed Scottish Poetry Library form, available to download or complete online (at the bottom of this page). A little additional information is required together with the poet’s name: the titles of several significant publications which include the poet’s work; details of any literary prizes or awards they have won or been shortlisted for; and a statement explaining why the poet should be included in the guide. Once completed, the form can be submitted online or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to the Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DT.
Once the closing date of the 31st January 2024 has passed, the nomination forms received will be considered by a panel including poets and a member of the Scottish Poetry Library team. Poets selected from the nominations will be contacted and asked for a photograph and permission to include a poem. The selected poets will be announced on Tuesday 21st March 2024 which is World Poetry Day.