'Scotlands: Poets and the Nation' brings alive the unfolding story of Scottish national identity through its poetry. It opens with the anonymous Celtic poet who wrote of 'Scotland with its wonders'; it concludes with Iain Crichton Smith's secular prayer for a country that is 'fresh and glittering and contemporary' as it moves into a new era. The anthology contains patriotism and satire, moving laments and joke-poems, well-loved treasures of Scottish poetry and the less familiar voices of common men and women through the ages. All the major Scottish poets are represented, as well as Gaelic-language poets in the original language and in translation; poets looking at Scotland from an outsider's perspective, from Shakespeare to Les Murray; and the strong Scottish tradition of women's poetry. From Robert Burns to Kokumo Rocks, from Lady Nairne to Jackie Kay, the collection celebrates the enduring strengths of Scottish identity and imagination.
The book contains a comprehensive introduction by Douglas Gifford, Chair of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University and Honorary Librarian of Walter Scott's library, and Alan Riach, Head of the Department of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University and himself a poet.