Dundee appoints WN Herbert as first makar

THE city of Dundee has 
appointed its first makar as it approaches the deadline for its bid to be UK City of Culture in 2017.
Herbert: Planning to go digital. Picture: Katie LeeHerbert: Planning to go digital. Picture: Katie Lee
Herbert: Planning to go digital. Picture: Katie Lee

Dundonian poet WN Herbert will take on the official role later this month and will also be named the world’s first digital makar, harnessing Twitter and even video games to bring his ­poetic musings to the people of Dundee.

Dundee will submit its final bid to be UK City of Culture on 30 September, having made the shortlist alongside Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay.

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Herbert’s first act as makar will be to pen a poem in honour of the day.

Herbert said: “Much of my work will be digital in the initial stages, and that’s the way I see it growing and developing as we move towards city of culture. The magical thing about digital is the interaction and communication, and I’m looking forward to being able to do that.”

He has also compiled an anthology of poems about the city, called Whaleback City which pulls together writings spanning six centuries and the work of poets including Dundonian William McGonagall – famously said to be the world’s worst poet – Sir Walter Scott, and the contemporary poet Don ­Paterson.

Stewart Murdoch, director of leisure and culture Dundee, said: “Dundee has a fantastically rich poetic heritage. A makar for Dundee will provide brilliant opportunities to celebrate that heritage, to connect Dundonians of all ages with poetry.

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