1 - 20 of 23 results


George Mackay Brown

George Mackay Brown

b. 1921 d. 1996

George Mackay Brown (1921-1996) was born in the remote Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland and apart from two periods of education at Newbattle Abbey College and the University of...
Robert Burns

Robert Burns

b. 1759 d. 1796

Burns started life as a ploughman in Scotland but is now one of the world’s most celebrated poets. Every January, his life is remembered with whisky, haggis, singing and dancing on Burns Night....
John Burnside

John Burnside

b. 1955

John Burnside (b. 1955) is the author of eleven collections of poetry and five works of fiction. Burnside has achieved wide critical acclaim, winning the Whitbread Poetry Award in 2000 for The Asylum...
Polly Clark

Polly Clark

b. 1968

Polly Clark was born in Toronto, Canada and brought up in Lancashire, Cumbria and the Borders of Scotland. She has pursued several careers, including zoo-keeping at Edinburgh Zoo, teaching English in...
Stewart Conn

Stewart Conn

b. 1936

Stewart Conn is one of Scotland’s more softly spoken bards, but his particular Celtic muse is no less intense for all his quieter rhetorical flourishes and domestic asides. Indeed, his poetry has an...
Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

b. 1959

In his poem ‘Alba Einstein’ Robert Crawford re-imagines the famous scientist as a Scot (‘He’d always worn brogues. / Ate bannocks in exile’), a deceptively lighthearted take on one of the poet’s most...
Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy

b. 1955

On May 1st 2009, Carol Ann Duffy became the UK's twentieth Poet Laureate. She is one of Britain's best known and most admired poets. Her poems appeal to those who wouldn't usually read poetry and...
Douglas Dunn

Douglas Dunn

b. 1942

Douglas Dunn (b. 1942) was awarded an OBE in 2003 for his services to literature over a career that includes many books of plays, poems, essays and fiction, as author and editor, and awards such as...
W. S. Graham

W. S. Graham

b. 1918 d. 1986

W. S. Graham (1918-1986) was neglected in his own lifetime but his reputation as a major modernist romantic has been growing steadily since his death, with the help of influential champions such as...
Andrew Greig

Andrew Greig

b. 1951

Andrew Greig's second collection Men on Ice in 1977 changed his life. He had been what he calls an "armchair climber", attracted by "the imagery and intensities" of climbing - however, mountaineer...
W.N. Herbert

W N Herbert

b. 1961

W. N. Herbert was born in Dundee in 1961 and educated at Brasenose, Oxford, where he published his thesis on Hugh MacDiarmid (To Circumjack MacDiarmid, OUP, 1992). He is currently Professor of Poetry...
Mick Imlah

Mick Imlah

b. 1956 d. 2009

Mick Imlah (1956 - 2009) was one of the most brilliant poets of his generation. He published just two collections, Birthmarks in 1988, and twenty years on, the long-awaited The Lost Leader, which won...
Kathleen Jamie

Kathleen Jamie

b. 1962

Kathleen Jamie (b. 1962) spent much of her early poetic career answering the question posed by the disapproving elders in her famous poem 'The Queen of Sheba': "whae do you think y'ur?". Born in...
Brian Johnstone

Brian Johnstone

b. 1950

Brian Johnstone is a Scottish poet, born in Edinburgh in 1950. He lives in Fife with his wife, the artist Jean Johnstone. Working as a primary school teacher for over twenty years, Johnstone began...
Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay

b. 1961

Jackie Kay (b. 1961) is an award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and plays, whose subtle investigation into the complexities of identity have been informed by her own life. Born in Edinburgh to a...
Frances Leviston

Frances Leviston

b. 1982

Frances Leviston was born in Edinburgh in 1982 and grew up in Sheffield. She read English at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2006. Her...
Hugh MacDiarmid

Hugh MacDiarmid

b. 1892 d. 1978

Hugh MacDiarmid (1892-1978) remains a controversial and influential figure. Born a postman's son in Langholm Dumfriesshire, he trained to be a school teacher in Edinburgh, then worked on local...
Edwin Morgan

Edwin Morgan

b. 1920 d. 2010

Edwin Morgan (1920 - 2010) was born and educated in Glasgow, where he returned to lecture in English Literature at Glasgow University after a period in the army. He was the author of many books,...
Don Paterson

Don Paterson

b. 1963

Don Paterson (b. 1963) is an accomplished jazz musician as well as a poet which might partially account for the complex harmonies of his work. Born in Dundee, he left school to pursue a career in...
Alastair Reid

Alastair Reid

b. 1926

Alastair Reid (b. 1926, Whithorn) is one of Scotland's foremost literary figures, admired as a craftsman in poetry, prose and translation. Since he left Scotland during World War II, he has lived...

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A tour of the Archive with Monica Ali

On my initial visit to the Poetry Archive, the historical recordings caught my attention first. I did not know that...

Featured Guided Tours


Enjoy new recordings of classic poems from the past read by contemporary poets

Safe in their Alabaster...

Emily Dickinson

read by Kei Miller

To the Poor

Anna Laetitia Barbauld

read by Denise Riley