AN award-winning poet, playwright and performer from Dunbar has been confirmed as the Scottish Capital’s next poet laureate.

Hannah Lavery, a highly respected poet and playwright whose work has been published widely, was recommended as the next writer to be inaugurated as the sixth Edinburgh Makar according to a report to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Culture and Communities Committee on Tuesday morning.

Her role as Edinburgh Maker was confirmed last Tuesday.

In 2002 the City of Edinburgh instituted the post of Edinburgh Makar.

It is a civic appointment, selected by representatives of the Scottish Poetry Library, Scottish PEN, The Saltire Society, City of Literature Trust and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Hannah, who studied a BA degree in English and Education with post-colonial literature and diploma in education at the University of Stirling, will take over the honorary role from Alan Spence in October at a special reception hosted by the Lord Provost within the City Chambers.

The role is an honorary post lasting for three years – Alan Spence, who took up post in September 2017, had his term extended a year due to the Covid pandemic.

Hannah will officially take over from him on October 1.

The Makar receives a small honorarium from the Council, and in return is asked to compose poems on Edinburgh, its people and aspects of life in the city, assist in the promotion of poetry in partnership with literary organisations, and select poetry for the Council’s website.

The former secondary English teacher has been a freelance writer since 2013 with residences at The Whole Works in Edinburgh and Bleachingfield Centre in Dunbar.

She has been a reader in residence for the Scottish Book Trust and East Lothian Library Service for over six years.

Her poem “Scotland, You’re no mine” was selected by Roseanne Watt as one of the Best Scottish Poems of 2019 and her poetry film, Thirteen Fragments featured as part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Curious Festival this year and it will feature as part of a longer work for Push the Boat Out Festival in Edinburgh in October.

She has also had commissions from Edinburgh University and Greater Glasgow NHS.

The founding member of Appletree Writers said: "I am thrilled to be nominated and to be given the opportunity to build upon the work of Alan Spence and previous Makars.

"Edinburgh is in my bones, to be nominated as her Makar is an absolute honour and privilege."

In 2020, Hannah was awarded a New Playwrights' Award by the Playwrights Studio Scotland and selected by Owen Sheers’ as one of his Ten Writers Asking Questions That Will Shape Our Future for the International Literature Showcase, a project from the National Writing Centre and the British Council.

She was also selected as one of the Scottish Voices for the BBC Writers’ Room.

Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan, Culture and Communities Vice Convener, said: "Hannah Lavery is the sixth in an illustrious line of writers who have filled this important role in Edinburgh, the original City of Literature.

"Hannah is a fantastic choice, an accomplished and highly-regarded writer whose work inspires and generates important conversations, and I’m sure she’ll take the role in fascinating new directions.

"I’m truly delighted that Hannah has been nominated as the Capital’s next Makar.

"She of course follows the brilliant Alan Spence, who has been an impressive advocate and ambassador for Edinburgh and for poetry, and whose interest in international dialogue and exchange has undoubtedly enhanced the city’s global reputation.

"It has been a pleasure to experience Alan’s perspective of the Capital and we would like to thank him for the dedication and insight that he has brought to the role."

The Edinburgh Makar is a civic post instituted in 2002 by the City of Edinburgh Council.

The writer is selected and nominated by representatives of the Scottish Poetry Library, Scottish PEN, The Saltire Society, Edinburgh City of Literature Trust and the Council.