Scotland is a country with a rich poetic tradition, from Robert Burns, known as the National Bard, to Carol Ann Duffy, who served as Britain's Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2019. Here, we share some of our favourite poetry collections by modern Scottish poets.


40 Sonnets

40 Sonnets

Don Paterson

Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963. He is the author of Nil Nil, winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; God's Gift to Women - winner of both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; and Landing Light, which won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry.

Rain, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2009, the same year that he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. His Selected Poems appeared in 2012.

Paterson’s work is notable for its traditional formal and technical elements, specifically an adherence to rhyme and regular metre. But this use of conventional form acts as a counterpoint to unsettling subject-matter, ambivalent narrative personae, black humour and a scouring of illusions.

He works as a musician and editor, teaches at the University of St Andrews, and lives in Kirriemuir, Scotland.

Read 'Mercies' from 40 Sonnets by Don Paterson