In a recent Scotland on Sunday, arts correspondent Robert Dawson Scott
addressed who could possibly fill the shoes of Norman MacCaig as the
informal "poet laureate of Scotland" (as it doesn't have its own poet
laureate). The consensus was that it would take two poets to fill his
shoes: Iain Crichton Smith and Edwin Morgan.
"Morgan is now 75 but shows no signs of diminishing vigour.
Indeed, his decision, on his 70th birthday, to make his sexuality a
matter of public record gave him a new lease of poetic life and a new
following among younger readers. And, although he is naturally shy, his
readings and his school visits are always greeted warmly. He is also the
most borrowed living author at the Scottish Poetry Library.
"Crichton Smith is 68, writes happily in Gaelic as well as
English, and is an altogether more approachable figure, with an
infectious sense of humour. Like MacCaig, he too was a teacher.
"Between them they represent all of Scotland, the urban and the
rural, they are both fine poets, they enjoy great support among all ages,
and they have a generosity of spirit which, according to Joy Hendry,
editor of the leading literary journal Chapman, is not always the case
among younger writers."
If there is interest (either on or off list), I would be happy to provide
sample verse from each of these poets.
University of Maryland University College
College Park, Maryland, USA
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