The acclaimed writer Jackie Kay, whose complex relationship with her Scottish identity provides inspiration for much of her work, has been named as the country’s new makar, or national poet.

Accepting the appointment at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh on Tuesday, Kay said she hoped to “open up the conversations, the blethers, the arguments and celebrations that Scotland has with itself and with the rest of the world”.

Kay told the Guardian it was “an extraordinary time to be Scottish” particularly since the surge in political engagement after the 2014 independence referendum campaign.

“It was a really exciting time to be living through and it continues to be. As a poet, you have a relationship with your country all of the time. I think Scotland is finding a way to have a really interesting conversation with itself, but also we are looking outwards to the world.”

Kay became the third poet to take the post since it was established in 2004, succeeding Liz Lochhead and her mentor Edwin Morgan, Scotland’s first makar.

Please read the full story, as printed in The Guardian.