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Liz Lochhead becomes Scotland's Makar

20th January 2011

Poet and playwright Liz Lochhead has been named as the new Scottish national poet, or Makar.

First minister Alex Salmond said he was 'extremely pleased' to appoint her to the role and noted that she has worked in poetry, translation, stage writing, acting and broadcasting over her career, adding: 'Ms Lochhead embodies everything a nation would want from its national poet.'

Robyn Marsack, director of the Scottish Poetry Library, added that the writer will be a 'great ambassador for the poetries of Scotland', while Creative Scotland chief executive Andrew Dixon noted the respect that the country's artistic community has for the new Makar.

Lochhead commented: 'I am as delighted as I am surprised by this enormous honour. I accept it on behalf of poetry itself.'

She also claimed that the writing, reading and performance of poetry is deeply ingrained in the consciousness of Scotland and is an essential part of the country's culture.

The Makar will perform her first official engagement on Friday (January 21st), at the opening of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway - which holds over 5,000 artefacts related to the poet, including some of his original manuscripts.
 

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