Poet & Dramatist
Liz Lochhead is a Scottish poet and dramatist, originally from Newarthill in North Lanarkshire.
Liz wrote her first poem, ‘The Visit’, after she entered the Glasgow School of Art in 1965 where she attended an informal creative writing group run by Stephen Mulrine. After graduating from Glasgow School of Art, Lochhead lectured in fine art for eight years before becoming a professional writer.
In the early 1970s she joined Philip Hobsbaum's writers' group, a crucible of creative activity - other members were Alasdair Gray, James Kelman, Tom Leonard, Aonghas MacNeacail and Jeff Torrington. Her plays include Blood and Ice, Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (1987), Perfect Days (2000) and a highly acclaimed adaptation into Scots of Molière's Tartuffe (1985). She adapted the medieval texts of the York Mystery Plays, performed by a largely amateur cast at York Theatre Royal in 1992 and 1996. Her adaptation of Euripides' Medea won the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award in 2001. She has written for BBC Radio 4: Blood and Ice (11 June 1990), The Perfect Days (16 May 1999), Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (11 February 2001) and The Stanley Baxter Playhouse: Mortal Memories (26 June 2006). Her adaptation of Helen Simpson's short story Burns and the Bankers was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Burns Night 2012. Like her work for theatre, her poetry is alive with vigorous speech idioms and her collections includeMemo For Spring (1972), True Confessions and New Clichés (1985), Bagpipe Muzak (1991) and Dreaming Frankenstein: and Collected Poems (1984). She has collaborated with Dundee singer-songwriter Michael Marra.
In January 2011 she was named Scots Makar,succeeding Edwin Morgan who had died the previous year. She is currently the Honorary President of the Caledonian Cultural Fellows at Glasgow Caledonian University.
- Liz Lochhead is only the second Scots Makar.
Our thanks to the Scottish Poetry Library for their help with this information
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