Here you can learn more about the staff, Board, Honorary Presidents and the Poets Advisory Group of the Scottish Poetry Library.
Asif KhanDirector. Contact Asif about strategic partnerships, sector advocacy or becoming a patron.
Aly BarrDeputy Director/Head of Operations. Contact Aly about matters related to the running of the Library building or staffing.
Rebecca OlivaHead Librarian. Contact Rebecca about the collections, acquisitions and exhibitions.
Colin WatersCommunications Manager. Contact Colin the SPL's social media, web site, press enquiries, and the Scots Makar Jackie Kay.
Beth CochraneEvents and Volunteers Manager. Contact Beth about poetry events, creative writing workshops and venue hire enquiries.
Hannah LaveryLearning & Engagement Co-ordinator. Contact Hannah about supporting schools and community groups engaging with the SPL. (Hannah will take up the learning role from January 2019.)
Matthew FellionLibrary Assistant. Contact Matthew if you have an inquiry about the collection, events or online shop.
Samuel TongueProjects Co-ordinator. Contact Sam about National Poetry Day, Tools of the Trade, publications or new project ideas.
Below you can learn more about the members of the SPL Board. Members of the SPL Board are elected by Friends of the SPL, having been nominated by a Friend with a Friend as seconder. These nominations are put to the vote at the Annual General Meeting in November.
The SPL Board includes a wide range of expertise, from writing, librarianship, publishing and digital to legal, financial and human resources. The Members are committed to ensuring that the Library remains financially sustainable and fulfils its mission to bring people and poems together.
You can read our company governing documents, plans and accounts via this link https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/Company papers/
Jane Ryder, OBE (Chair)Appointed 2017. Chair of Historic Environment Scotland and Board member of other public bodies. Former Chief Executive of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and former Chair of Arts and Business Scotland.
Martyn Wade, OBEAppointed 2012. Former National Librarian and Chief Executive, National Library of Scotland.
Dr John Gillies, OBE (Company Secretary)Appointed 2016. Honorary Professor, Department of General Practice, Population Health Sciences; Senior Adviser, Global Health Academy; Co-Director, GHA Compassion initiative; Deputy Director, Scottish School of Primary Care.
Dr Kyra PollittAppointed 2014. Kyra translates and interprets between signing and speaking communities. She was awarded a PhD for her thesis Signart: (British) sign language poetry as Gesamtkunstwerk (2014).
Nuala WattAppointed 2017. Writer and lecturer.
Stuart A. PatersonAppointed 2017. Poet.
Marcas Mac an TuairneirAppointed 2017. Poet.
Gordon MunroAppointed 2017. Councillor, City of Edinburgh Council.
Rory Anderson QCAppointed 2017. Lawyer.
Dr James RipleyAppointed 2018. Academic Librarian.
Dr Fiona ForbesAppointed 2018. Retired Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.
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Our Honorary Presidents
From time to time, the Board of the SPL asks distinguished poets to become Honorary Presidents of the Library.
Poets Advisory Group
Katie AilesKatie Ailes (chair) is a poet and scholar originally from Pennsylvania who lives in Edinburgh. She is pursuing her PhD in English at Strathclyde, focusing on spoken word poetry. Ailes performs with the spoken word collective Loud Poets.
Henry BellHenry Bell is a writer and editor from Bristol. He lives in Glasgow and edits Gutter Magazine. He was mentored by St Mungo's Mirrorball's Clydebuilt mentoring programme and has edited books including A Bird is Not a Stone (Freight).
Diana HendryDiana Hendry has published six collections of poetry, the most recent being The Seed-Box Lantern: New & Selected Poems (2013) and together with Douglas Dunn and Vicki Feaver, Second Wind. A new collection, The Watching Stair, is due from Worple Press in 2018.
Nadine Aisha JassatNadine Aisha Jassat is the author of Still, a feminist poetry pamphlet. She has performed solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as well as speaking at Edinburgh International Book Festival, Aye Write, and Glasgow Women’s Library’s Festival of Women Writers.
Caroline JohnstoneCaroline Johnstone is originally from Northern Ireland, now living in Ayrshire. She has been published in The Galway Review, Belfast Life, the New Voices Press, and the latest Federation of Writers (Scotland) anthology. She is a member of the Federation of Writers (Scotland).
Rachel RankinRachel Rankin is a poet from Coatbridge who currently lives in Edinburgh, where she is a student on the MSc Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. She has had both poetry and book reviews published in a variety of journals, including Gutter, Antiphon, and The Riveter.
Calum RodgerCalum Rodger is a Glasgow-based poet, performer, scholar, tutor, editor and events organiser. Current roles include but are not limited to Co-Director of the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School, tutor in Poetry & Poetics at the University of Glasgow.
Harry SmartHarry Smart has published three collections of poetry with Faber (Pierrot, Shoah, and Fool's Pardon). He continues to publish poetry in magazines and online.
Jay WhittakerJay Whittaker is the author of the pamphlet Pearl (Selkirk Lapwing Press, 2005) and a full-length collection, Wristwatch (Cinnamon Press, 2017). Her poems have also been published by Envoi, Orbis, Frogmore Papers, amongst others.
The SPL is piloting a new initiative designed for poets to share their ideas on how the library engages and works with poets across Scotland. Participants contribute topics for discussion in the meetings. Following the group’s meetings, detailed notes from the discussion are shared with SPL staff to be taken into account when determining and implementing SPL activities in line with the new business plan ambitions for 2018-21.
SPL Poets Advisory Group (Meeting: 9 June, 2018)
SPL Poets Advisory Group (Meeting: 9 December, 2017)