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Literature - The Bard in triplicate

A new Burns anthology containing writing in Gaelic, Scots and English, is to be distributed free in class sets to secondary schools, colleges and prisons throughout Scotland by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Addressing the Bard, which was launched last week at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is an anthology of 12 new pieces of writing by contemporary poets and writers, including Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney and Glasgow-based Liz Lochhead. They explain how the work of Burns influences their thinking and creativity. The anthology has been edited by Douglas Gifford, emeritus professor of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University.

Robyn Marsack, director of the Scottish Poetry Library, which is also supporting the project, said: "The poets take Burns's poems as their starting point and move outwards to our tumultuous present circumstances and the everlasting concerns of affection, loss, democracy and language. From an elegy to an otter and a serious look at the credit crunch, to a celebration of female friendship and a swingeing satire on current politics, these poems brilliantly address themes local and universal."

Teaching resources will be provided by Learning and Teaching Scotland on www.ltscotland.org.uk.

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