Meet the Makar

Edinburgh’s current Makar is Alan Spence.

Makar is an old Scots word that 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 Edinburgh Makar is an honorary role, created by the City of Edinburgh Council in support of the UNESCO City of Literature designation, and every three years an Edinburgh poet is appointed Edinburgh Makar. They are tasked with various civic duties and they work as an Ambassador for the written and spoken word in our City of Literature. The best Edinburgh-based person for the job is selected at a meeting of the Scottish Poetry Library, Scottish PEN, The Saltire Society, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Since the title was formed in 2002, Ron Butlin, Valerie Gillies, Stuart Conn, and Christine De Luca have held the post. Alan Spence’s appointment as Edinburgh Makar will run from 2018-2021.

More about Edinburgh’s previous Makars

Makars' Court

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 the Mound and the Lawnmarket to the door of The Writers’ Museum.