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

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 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.

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.

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.