The Edinburgh Makar

The current Makar is Christine De Luca, whose tenure runs from 2014-2017. Previous Makars, in order of tenure, are: Stewart Conn (2002-2005), Valerie Gillies (2005-2008) and Ron Butlin (2008-2014).

Makar /mækər/ noun (Scots) ‘one who fashions, constructs, produces, prepares, etc’Dictionary of the Scots Language

In a literary context, the Scots word “Makar” means 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, in this City of Literature, Edinburgh has adopted its own version of the Poet Laureate: the Edinburgh Makar.

In 2002 the City of Edinburgh instituted the post of Edinburgh Makar in preparation for its bid to become the world’s first City of Literature in 2004. This is a civic appointment, selected by representatives of:

Nominees must be resident in, or have a strong connection with, the City of Edinburgh. The chosen candidate will have an established reputation as a writer, have the ability to act as the City’s literary ambassador, and be a highly motivated and personable individual. It is an honorary post, lasting for a period of three years.

The Makar receives a small honorarium from the Council, and in return is asked to compose poems on Edinburgh, its people and aspects of life in the city, assist in the promotion of poetry in partnership with literary organisations, and select poetry for the Council’s website.