Stirling alumna appointed as Scotland’s national poet

Stirling alumna Jackie Kay has been appointed the new Scots Makar.

The Scots Makar position was established in 2004 by the Scottish Parliament and the role involves promoting poetry throughout the country and encouraging young people to engage with the art form.

Jackie Kay graduated from the University of Stirling with a BA in English Studies in 1983. Her first book of poetry, The Adoption Papers, won the Saltire Society Award for best first book in 1992.

She won the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Award (Non-Fiction) in 2011 for Red Dust Road, an account of her search for her natural parents. She was awarded an Honorary Degree from the University in 2000, became an MBE in 2006 and is now Chancellor of Salford University.

Kerry Bryson, Director of Development & External Affairs at the University of Stirling, said:

“Congratulations to Jackie on her well-deserved appointment as Scots Makar.

“Jackie is still closely involved with the University and is working with Stirling academics to deliver an anthology and will work with local schools on this piece of work in the summer.

“I wish Jackie all the best in her new role and I’m sure she’ll excel at encouraging Scotland’s poets of the future.”  


Media enquiries to Rachel MacBeath, Communications Officer on 01786 467 760 or

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