Liz was appointed as Scots Makar (the National Poet for Scotland) from 2011-2016. She has been described variously as a poet, playwright, translator and broadcaster.
She has said, “When somebody asks me what I do I usually say writer. The most precious thing to me is to be a poet. If I were a playwright, I’d like to be a poet in the theatre.”
Born in Newarthill, near Motherwell, Lanarkshire, in 1947, she studied at Glasgow School of Art, published her first poetry collection Memo for Spring in 1972 and her first work theatre in 1978. ‘Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off’ was the sensation of the Edinburgh Festival of 1987, and is now studied across the English-speaking world.
Her work as poet and playwright developed hand in glove and is infused with wit, wisdom, humanity, a poetic ear and political sensibility.
In 2014 she was elected a Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and in 2015 was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.
In her live shows for Lakin McCarthy she appears with the musician and composer Steve Kettley, fusing her poetry with his music.