I was delighted to read and present my poem, Out in Front, to Tom Gilzean, winner of the Edinburgh Award 2015. Tom’s citation is for his inspiring and selfless contribution to Edinburgh. He has personally raised over £250,000 for local charities. The photo on the left shows Tom, flanked by me (on his right) and Lord Provost Donald Wilson (on his left), at the City Chambers reception on 17th March. Photos courtesy of Lloyd Smith Photography.
ELISA (Edinburgh Library & Information Services Agency) links Edinburgh’s many wonderful libraries. They wanted me to write a little about the Makar’s role and my recent brief trip to Krakow.
This was a wonderful opportunity to visit a city I had long wanted to see, a city which had recently been designated a UNESCO City of Literature. To welcome us they had projected poems on to a wall in a city centre square. The poem of mine selected was less than flattering about Edinburgh! (But I did write it a long time ago and balanced it with a love poem to the city, written more recently!)
I am delighted to launch a website dedicated to the work of the Edinburgh Makar. You’ll find not just current news but also some history of the role, including information about former Makars.
Thanks to my son Daniel De Luca for the work and to the City of Edinburgh Council staff for their cooperation.
Here’s a project I worked on with Kyra Pollitt (translator) and David Bell (kinetic typographer) to translate a British Sign Language (BSL) poem by Gary Quinn firstly into a poem in English and then into a kinetic version. The final piece, called The Stars are a Map I Unfurl, also features a version of the poem in Shetlandic. All these creative interpretations are based on the epic solo voyage of Gerry Hughes who is profoundly deaf.
You can read more about the project on the Scottish Poetry Library’s Website.
Huge thanks to The City of Edinburgh Council who hosted an excellent reception to welcome me as Edinburgh’s new Makar. I’m the fourth Makar, following Stewart Conn, Valerie Gillies and, most recently, Ron Butlin.
ITV Scotland’s News ran a wee report on the event, as did the Edinburgh Evening News: