What does the role of Makar – the old Scots term these days applied to Scotland’s poet laureate – involve and what does poetry mean to the people?
Liz Lochhead: Poems for a New Scotland
Tomorrow, Radio 4, 4:30pm
A Firm Hand
Monday, Radio Scotland, 2:05pm
Safe At Last
Thursday, Radio Scotland, 2:05pm
Saturday Drama: The Wind in the Willows
Today, Radio 4, 2:30pm
The estimable Liz Lochhead, appointed Makar in January 2011, takes a personal look at the job tomorrow in LIZ LOCHHEAD: POEMS FOR A NEW SCOTLAND.
The highly regarded poet and playwright discusses her poetry and her acceptance of the post “in grateful recognition of the truth that poetry – the reading of it, the writing of it, the saying it out loud, the learning of it off by heart” ... all of this matters deeply to ordinary Scottish people everywhere”. The programme takes her to various locations, including the north-west Highlands, the Scottish poetry library off Edinburgh’s Canongate and the Burns museum in Alloway, where she meets the UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Meanwhile Radio Scotland takes a factual and fictional hard look at one of the nastier aspects of Scottish life, the iniquity of domestic abuse, starting on Monday with A FIRM HAND, Audrey Gillan’s radio drama exploring the links between football and domestic violence. Starring Simon Donaldson and Angela Hardie, the play follows the tensions between an appallingly treated wife and her husband, who has been ordered to attend a programme for domestic abusers. Will he stay the course as the Old Firm game looms on the horizon?
Then on Thursday, Edi Stark interviews women who have suffered abuse and explores some of the myths surrounding it in SAFE AT LAST. She also meets a group of school pupils involved in a new “bystander approach” to encourage people to take a stand against violence and harassment, rather than turning a blind eye.
Later today, Radio 4 marks the 90th anniversary of the BBC’s first ever radio drama, by broadcasting a new adaptation, by Neil Brand, of THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, combining actors with singers and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Kenneth Grahame’s riverbank yarn remains timelessly enchanting, if comfortably insulated from the nastier facts of life.