Dr Michael Dempster is new Scots Scriever

ARTS NEWS: Edwin Morgan Poetry Award short list, Scriever revealed, Culture Committe film report

THE short list for one of the most prestigious poetry prizes in the UK has been announced. Five poets are in the running for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. The prize is for Scottish or Scotland-based poets or poets aged 30 or under.

The Scots Scriever is joint initiative between the National Library of Scotland (NLS) and Creative Scotland. Creative Scotland published its first Scots Language Policy in June 2015, in which the role of Scots Scriever was identified. The role, held by Hamish MacDonald from August 2015 to September 2017, is designed to produce original creative work in Scots, its variants and dialects. Dr Dempster’s residency at the NLS will run from July 2018–2020. Dr Dempster has written librettos and graphic novels in Scots, and explored the use of Scots with sufferers of dementia within the NHS.

He has written comedy sketches performed across the Edinburgh Fringe, TV pilots for the BBC and Comedy Unit and delivered the first TED talk in Scots, We’r Needin tae Talk Aboot Wir Language. In a statement he said:

“A’m that delichtit tae get appyntit Scots Scriever. Whit an honour! Oor Scots language, an wir Scots speakin communitie, is that important tae baith wirsels an tae the warld thit fir me tae hae this opportunitie tae expand ma wirk wi the support o the National Library of Scotland, Creative Scotland an the Scottish Buik Trust is a dream come true.”

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