During the 1920s, Scottish poetry, personified by Hugh MacDiarmid, asserted its independence, denying the claim made by T. S. Eliot that all significant differences between Scottish and English literature had ceased to exist.
It was an energetic ‘No’ to provincialism, and a vigorous ‘Yes’ to nationalism as an enabler of poetry. On its first appearance in 1992, the retrospective and organising vision of Douglas Dunn’s now-classic anthology revealed a profounder level of achievement in modern Scottish poetry – whether in Scots, Gaelic or English – than had been formerly acknowledged, and introduced an entire canon of writing to a wider readership, edited with discrimination and exemplary lucidity.
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