Arts, culture and heritage: Scotland's Makar - national poet for Scotland

Details of the role of the Makar and the 2021 appointment of Kathleen Jamie as Scotland’s fourth Makar.

Role Description

The National Poet For Scotland or Makar is supported to create new work and promote poetry throughout the country. 

S/he is a highly regarded poet who can speak for the nation’s community of poets and to their readers, and who represents the diversity of Scotland.

The responsibilities of the national poet would be fitted around the work life of the poet but typically include:

  • taking a leadership role in promoting poetry nationally (Please note some travel is likely to be required)
  • producing a poem or poems relating to significant national events (up to 3 in any year). It is expected this work will be connected to the existing creative practice of the successful applicant
  • encouraging the reading and writing of poetry particularly by young people
  • reading his/her poems publicly and commenting publicly on poetry, the arts and any and all related matters in Scotland and Internationally
  • reading his/her poems publicly at a number of events notified in advance and featuring in a programme to be devised which includes up to 5 public events in any year (process to be determined)
  • engaging publicly with poetry through the use of social media and relevant websites during the length of the appointment
  • preparing a report on their experience in the role each year 

The makar must abide by the integrity and leadership principles from the principles of public life which says: "You must not place yourself under any financial or other obligation to any individual or organisation that might reasonably be thought to influence you in the performance of your duties. You have a duty to promote and support these principles by leadership and example, and to maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of the public role you hold in conducting public business.”

The stipend for the post is £15k per year for 3 years.  The post is appointed by the Scottish Government in an unregulated appointment. The annual stipend of £15k pa will recompense the Makar for their time in writing or attending events in this role. 

The Scottish Poetry Library provides support to the post including media handling, festival booking and web presence. 

The Scottish Poetry Library is funded by Creative Scotland.


If you would like to invite the Makar to attend an event or write a poem email:

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