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Winners of the McLellan Scots Poetry Competition 2023 announced

We are delighted to announce that the results of the McLellan Scots Poetry Competition 2023 are in from our judge, Hugh McMillan.

FIRST PLACE - Alistair Lawrie with his poem "Twists and Turns". A poem in two parts: 1. Circe and 2. Penelope.

Our judge's comment: "A wonderful rich retelling in two sections of the story of Odysseus from the viewpoint of Circe and his long suffering wife Penelope. Vibrant, funny and boisterous. The great Willie Neill (among others) noted that Scots was a particularly fine medium to retell the classics. Neill himself owerset The Odyssey into Scots. It’s the biggest compliment I can give that this is of as high a standard as that great work." SECOND PLACE - Finola Scott with her poem "Isobel Gowdrie encooters a Devil, efter the peintin by Ian Howard". Our judge's comment: "Another ekphrastic poem bursting with rich and rollicking language. This poet has a natural flair for story telling as well as a natural and easy mastery of the leid." THIRD PLACE - Donald Adamson with his poem "The Sang". Our judge's comment: "A moving piece, well told in fluent and natural Scots which evokes empathy and admiration for its understatement, for the way it affects, but avoids sentimentality." Highly Commended Poems:

  • ANN CRAIG for "Witches' Goodbye"

  • KEVIN CONNELLY for "Ane Prayer to the Peste."

  • ZOE GREEN for "The Johnshaven Unicorn"

Congratulations to all of the winning and commended poets, and thank you to all who entered the Scots Poem competition.

All of the above can be heard here on Arran on Friday 25th August at the Scots Poetry Night at Corrie Village Hall (starting at 7:30 pm), read either by the poet themselves or, if they cannot attend, by Hugh McMillan, who will also be entertaining us with some of his own work on the evening, which is not to be missed.


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