Stewart Conn - the First Makar
Stewart Conn was the first poet to be appointed to the role of Edinburgh's Makar, or Poet Laureate. Born in Glasgow and brought up in Ayrshire, he has lived in the Scottish capital since 1977 and regularly takes part in the Edinburgh International Book Festival. His work has been widely translated, and he has won awards from the Scottish Arts Council and Society of Authors, among others. When Edinburgh received the UNESCO title in October 2004, Stewart celebrated the occasion with the following inspirational poem:
We come wearing neither the sackcloth
Of supplicants, nor the helmet of presumption,
But on winged sandals of aspiration,
Bearing the triple-edged sword
Of language; confident as guardians
Of the written word that borders are best
Kept open, through the traffic of tongues.
Emissaries for Scotland and her capital
Past, present and future,
The hand-fast we proffer confirms
Our belief that a nation's blood-flow
Is enhanced and enriched by
Transfusion from other cultures:
A sharing of the heart's vocabulary.
You can find out more about Stewart's poetry on the Scottish Poetry Library website: click here.