Welcome to the Scottish Poetry Library’s annual online anthology of the year’s 20 Best Scottish Poems to appear in books, pamphlets and literary magazines, edited each year by a different editor.
This is the fourteenth issue of Best Scottish Poems. We began by publishing this annual selection on St Andrew’s Day, to wave a poetry flag for Scotland, but moved publication to spring to allow editors to consider a whole calendar year. Bookshops and libraries – with honourable exceptions – often provide a very narrow range of poetry, and Scottish poetry in particular. Best Scottish Poems offers readers in Scotland and abroad a way of sampling the range and achievement of our poets, their languages, forms and concerns.
It is in no sense a competition but a personal choice. The preceding years’ selections are still available on this site. We’re honoured this year to welcome as editor Roddy Woomble. Both as a solo artist and as a member of his band Idlewild, Woomble has been one of contemporary Scotland’s most literate and intriguing lyricists. No surprise to learn then that he is a passionate reader of Scottish and American poetry, and has been so since his late teens. As we see him visit the SPL on a regular basis, we naturally thought of him as a guest editor for Best Scottish Poems.
We hope that you enjoy this varied selection, and that it will encourage you to browse further on the Scottish Poetry Library website, as well as borrow and buy from the Library.