Stirling once again has its own Makar who will promote poetry, reading and writing across the Council area.
A Poet, teacher and director with the Scottish Poetry Library, Laura Fyfe has been appointed the Makar for Stirling, which is a ceremonial position that dates back to the 15th Century and the reign of James IV.
The Stirling Makar – who has been appointed for the next three years – produces a poem each year that celebrates the Stirling area and its people.
Laura will be working closely with Stirling Libraries on a programme of visits to schools, writing and community groups to give talks, workshops and readings aimed at encouraging an interest in poetry.
The role of Makar is also very much about encouraging new creative writing, as well as promoting poetry as an art-form and an appreciation of what is already published, and Laura is dedicated to supporting new and emerging writers.
Laura, from Stirling, said: “I am proud and privileged to have been appointed as the new Makar of Stirling. I’ve loved stories and poetry all my life and know how powerful they are. They help us access, explore and interpret the world like nothing else.
“As a working class writer I believe passionately in the importance of an inclusive society. With the support of our excellent Libraries team, I look forward to engaging with people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. This is what I love about poetry. From nursery rhymes to rock music, haiku to epics, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, to be inspired by.
“Being Makar is a huge honour. It’s a responsibility I take seriously, but I also hope to have a great deal of fun with the Stirling community. I’ve an ever-expanding list of ideas on how we could energise our poetry scene together and can’t wait to get started. It’s time to bring the poetry world to Stirling. More importantly, it’s time to bring Stirling to the poetry world.”
Laura’s first poetry collection will be published by Red Squirrel Press later this year.
Provost of Stirling, Councillor Christine Simpson, said: “We have been hugely impressed by Laura’s passion for poetry and have no doubt that she is going to be a great asset to help develop the popularity of poetry across Stirling.
“Stirling is such a wonderful place to live and write about – thanks to the local areas and villages that give it its unique buzz and character, as well as our historic city.
“Through her work she will help reconnect modern, contemporary Stirling with its rich literary heritage, passing on her own passion and encouraging others to take up the pen.”