Scotland’s new national poet has been announced by the First Minister.
Jackie Kay will take over the post from Liz Lochhead, who recently ended her five-year term as Scotland’s makar.
The role will see Ms Kay, who was made an MBE for her services to literature in 2006, create new work and promote poetry throughout the country.
She was selected from a shortlist prepared by a panel of literary experts, with the final selection made by Nicola Sturgeon and former first ministers Alex Salmond, Lord McConnell and Henry McLeish.
Ms Sturgeon made the announcement on Tuesday at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, where Ms Kay read one of her own poems, Between The Dee And The Don.
Ms Kay said: “It’s a tremendous honour to be chosen as Scotland’s new makar – following in the footsteps of such wonderful poets as Edwin Morgan and Liz Lochhead.
“As Robert Burns demonstrated, poetry holds up a unique mirror to a nation’s heart, mind and soul. It is the pure language that tells us who we are.
“I hope to open up the conversations, the blethers, the arguments and celebrations that Scotland has with itself and with the rest of the world, using the voice of poetry in its fine Scottish delivery.”
Ms Sturgeon said: “Poetry is part of Scotland’s culture and history, it celebrates our language and can evoke strong emotions and memories in all of us.
“The role of the makar is to celebrate our poetic past, promote the poetry of today and produce new pieces of work that relate to significant events in our nation.
“Jackie Kay’s poems sometimes deal with challenging subjects, taken from her own life experiences, and she has a particular Scottish brand of gallus humour.
“She is hugely respected, is known for her poignant and honest words, and is a role model for many, and I am delighted to name her as the new national poet for Scotland.”
The makar is appointed by the Scottish Government for five years, with an annual stipend of £10,000 administered by Creative Scotland.