Literary Birthday – 26 December – Liz Lochhead

Happy Birthday, Liz Lochhead, born 26 December 1947.

Six Quotes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. All of us judge by sight and not by knowledge.
  5. 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.
  6. 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-dead speech. Which is regarded as being the norm, voiceless and neutral, but these things are not neutral.

Liz Lochhead is a Scottish poet and dramatist. She was appointed Scots Makar – the National Poet for Scotland – in 2011.

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 26th December 2014