Hannah Lavery Confirmed as Edinburgh Makar: Poetry Collection Blood Salt Spring coming 2022

  16 Sep '21   |  Posted by: Birlinn

We are delighted that poet and playwright Hannah Lavery, who has just joined the Polygon list, has been selected as Edinburgh’s new Makar (poet laureate). Edinburgh City Council confirmed the appointment this week; she will be inaugurated as Makar at a special ceremony later this year.

Hannah’s collection Blood Salt Spring will be published in February 2022. It is a meditation on where we are, exploring ideas of nation, race and belonging. Much of the collection was written in lockdown and speaks to that moment, the isolation and the traumas of 2020 but it also looks to find some meaning in them and makes an attempt to heal the pain and vulnerabilities that were picked and cut open again in the recent cultural shifts and political wars.

It takes the reader on a journey from the old inherited wounds, the trauma of tearing open again these chasms within recent discourses and events, to a hopeful spring, where pain and trauma can be laid down and a new future can be imagined. It seeks to heal these salted wounds, and move out of winter and into spring – into hope. 

I am so pleased to have found a home for my work with Polygon. Blood Salt Spring reflects my journey to a new way of seeing myself – escaping the ‘gaze’ that I have often allowed to define me or have felt powerless to challenge and escape from. 

Hannah Lavery

Edward Crossan, Polygon’s poetry editor, says –

On reading Hannah Lavery’s work, I was struck by what this poet was doing. I wanted her collection on Polygon’s list and I’m thrilled that we are going to publish her debut. The depth and honesty of Hannah’s poetry is evocative. I love poetry like this. The way in which she interrogates her past asks questions of how we live and co-exist today, it holds a mirror up to society. This collection is searching, insightful and full of charm and grace. BLOOD SALT SPRING is an important book that echoes the tumultuous time in which it was written.

Hannah will be headlining Edinburgh’s new international poetry festival, Push the Boat Out with a special performance-preview of Blood Salt Spring, a co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland. Book your ticket to see it at Summerhall Arts Centre on Saturday 16th October here.

  • Paperback | Pub: 03 Mar 2022

    From Hannah Lavery, Edinburgh’s Makar. ‘Speaks to and for the conflicted conscience of Scotland … with a power and authenticity like perhaps no other’ – The Scotsman In a moment that is demanding you to constantly choose your…

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