Happy Birthday, Liz Lochhead, born 26 December 1947
- A play is something that doesn’t exist when you have written it. It only exists when it begins to be performed. Whereas a poem is something that even before you’ve tightened it up properly, once you’ve got it finished, even if it’s lying under the bed, there it is: it’s a thing.
- For some reason ‘a Scottish poet’ sounds as if it’s just something they’re saying about you, whereas ‘a feminist poet’ tells a lot of people not to bother listening. It means to a lot of men that it’s for women only and men shouldn’t be reading it. I wouldn’t mind being called a female poet, because I think my poetry is a pursuit of the feminine.
- Poets need not be garlanded; the poet’s head should be innocent of the leaves of the sweet bay tree, twisted. All honour goes to poetry.
- All of us judge by sight and not by knowledge.
- I’m happy to be called a Scottish writer because I’m surprised to find how Scottish it is. I don’t write in standard English. I write in Scots English and sometimes actually in Scots. But it’s a simple thing. It’s defining what you are so that you can more honestly relate with the world.
- The fact that a lot of prose nowadays manages to capture speech and rhythm is one thing, but there’s also that prose voice one feels one’s got to master, that English-male-posh-grown-up-dea d speech. Which is regarded as being the norm, voiceless and neutral, but these things are not neutral.
Lochhead is a Scottish poet and dramatist. She was appointed Scots Makar – the National Poet for Scotland – in 2011.
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