Last week, in the Library at GOMA, I handed over the Makar Shield of the Federation of Writers (Scotland) to the new Makar. It’s been a privilege and an honour to be the Makar for 2011, and as I said at the time, the thing that mattered most to me was that I had been chosen by the members of the Federation, fellow-writers. I’ve done my best during the year to promote the Federation and to support its activities, and I’ve done it with pleasure. The Federation’s main aim – to make the written and spoken word available to the public of Scotland – is helped by ensuring its membership is as strong and wide-ranging as possible.
The new Makar is Maggie Rabatski, originally from Rodel in South Harris, and now living in Glasgow. She grew up speaking Gaelic, and indeed she writes poems in Gaelic and in English. Her first collection – Down from the Dance – was published by New Voices Press recently. I wish Maggie well in her Makarship year, and as I said to her last week, I have no doubt she’ll enjoy it as much as I have.