I was seized with a keen desire to see Holmes again... He was pacing the room swiftly, eagerly, his hands clasped behind him.

Arthur Conan Doyle



The Scots word Makar stresses the role of the poet or author as a skilled and versatile worker in the craft of writing.  We have many such folk living in Scotland, and to celebrate the importance of writers in our lives, Edinburgh has adopted its own version of the Poet Laureate: the Edinburgh Makar.

The new holder of this official post, which runs for three years, is local author Ron Butlin, who was appointed in June 2008.

You can read work by the two previous holders of the post, poets Valerie Gilles and Stewart Conn, on our website.  Stewart wrote Emissaries to celebrate Edinburgh's appointment as UNESCO City of Literature, while Valerie's poem To Edinburgh will be displayed in the Poetry in St Andrew Square Garden project.

Edinburgh's Makars' Court at The Writers' Museum celebrates the lives and works of Scottish writers.  Each of the writers is commemorated by a quotation inscribed in stone and set in the paving leading from both The Mound and the Lawnmarket to the door of The Writers' Museum.  Visit the museum to find out more about the making of Makar's Court.

Below is a list of the stones of Makar's Court; we are working on making this a virtual tour so soon you'll be able to see each stone and find out more about the life of each writer.

John Barbour - Fredome is a noble thing...

Robert Henryson - Blissed be sempill lyfe withoutin dreid...

William Dunbar  - The flesche is bruckle, the Fend is sle...

George Buchanan - Populo enim jus est ut imperium cui velit deferat.

Robert Fergusson - Auld Reikie, wale o ilka town...

Robert Burns - man to man the world o`er/ Shall brithers be for a that.

Sir Walter Scott - This is my own, my native land!

John Galt - birr and smeddum...

Robert Louis Stevenson - there are no stars so lovely...

Violet Jacob - There`s muckle lyin yont the Tay that`s mair to me...

Neil Munro - this New Road will some day be the Old Road, too...

John Buchan - We can only repay our debt to the past...

Helen Cruikshank - the spirit/ Endures forever.

James Bridie - Who knows the heart of a man...

Neil Gunn - Knowledge is high in the head...

Hugh MacDiarmid - Drums in the Walligate, pipes in the air...

Nan Shepherd - Its a grand thing to get leave to live.

Naomi Mitchison - Go back far enough and all humankind are cousins.

Fionn MacColla - my roots in the soil of Alba.

Robert Garioch - in simmer, whan aa sorts foregether...

Nigel Tranter - You intend to bide here?

Sorley MacLean - nan robh againn Alba shaor...

David Daiches - Bridge-building is my vocation.

Douglas Young - He was eident,/ he was blye,/ in Scotlands cause.

Sydney Goodsir Smith - Bards hae sung o lesser luves than I o thee...

Tom Scott - Weird hou men maun aye be makin war...

George Mackay Brown - In the fire of images/ Gladly I put my hand.

Dorothy Dunnett - Where are the links... joining us to the past?

Iain Crichton Smith - Let our three-voiced country sing in a new world.