Twelve Contemporary Poets in Scotland

Edited by Calum Rodger

Published by Tapsalteerie

September 2019 and I attended the launch of Makar / Unmakar: Twelve Contemporary Poets in Scotland at The Scottish Poetry Library.

This attractively produced book is edited by Calum Rodger, who has curated an excellent meeting of voices.

The curation itself may even be the best aspect of this book. Calum Rodger's introductions to each poet are generous, vigorous and offer a power of attention that makes this collection more than just a random event. I think Calum has a wild and unsparing writing style that is a cut above the norm.



Published by Tapsalteerie, Makar / Unmakar is a book of more than just its parts and Duncan Lockerbie at Tapsalteerie has set it in a way that will be beautiful to many, nothing is lacking.

At the launch event of this book at the Scottish Poetry Library, most of the writers from the collection were reading, I felt personally very lucky to be watching.

At the start of the evening I politely asked nicky melville to sign my copy of Makar / Unmakar. I also had a pleasant handshake and chat with Iain Morrison and Calum Rodger, the editor, I asked them to sign my book also.

This is not to namedrop, but I think these three are the only people involved with the book that I have met before and know! 

It did not stop me from collecting autographs thereafter. I think I was unable to resist that animal impluse towards completism, which is sometimes quite strong around books.

And I managed to, without making too infernal a nuisance of myself, request and receive the following author's signatures.

I did feel I carried out a bit of intruding, for not everybody likes to be intrerupted and have a book thrust at them.

But the signatures I gathered that evening were these, from Head to Foot:


  • Maria Sledmere
  • nicky melville
  • Nat Raha
  • Calum Rodger
  • Iain Morrison
  • ?
  • Tessa Berring
  • Daisy Lafarge
  • ?
  • ?


makar / unmakar by tapsalteerie duncan lockerbie


The question remains as to how I am going to acquire the remainder of the signatures.

There is that.

And there is another question concerning the QUESTION MARKS!

I have yet to decipher which of the marks was made by the following:

  • HARRY JOSEPHINE GILES (brilliant reading in Orcadian, and a lovely smile)
  • ALICE TARBUCK (also featured in the recently published The Evergreen IV, edited by Lucy Ellmann)
  • and KATE TOUGH (likewise, memorable and hilarious reading regarding Brexit // Angels)

A brilliant evening, thanks to Tapsalteerie, and The Scottish Poetry Library, which I like very much.

The progress of my quest to identify the last few signatories, may be seen on Facebook, here: