A WRITER named Stirling’s first makar in 500 years will give an address marking St Andrew’s Day.

Poet, playwright and author Magi Gibson will reflect on decades working with communities across Scotland for this year’s St Andrew’s Day special lecture at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Through several fellowships and residences, the Glasgow-based author has brought poets from around the world to Scotland, as well as tutoring some of the country’s best-loved writers such as novelist/theatremaker Alan Bissett and award-winning Stirlingshire poet William Letford.

The talk comes near the end of year which has seen Gibson’s preteen ecowarrior Sassy Wilde translated for young audiences in Japan as well as performances from her most recent poetry collection, Washing Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks.

Insightful, compassionate and tough, the collection features verse on being “still Yes” after the 2014 independence referendum, brawling women in Glasgow’s west end, and the dirty linen of one of Scotland’s most revered writers.

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The event, run in conjunction with global grassroots arts organisation Fair Saturday, will see Gibson, who was Stirling’s makar from 2009 to 2012, exploring what identity means today.

“Poetry, like all literature, can be a way to walk in the shoes of another, to reach across time and space, to expand our minds and our humanity,” says Gibson. “Or simply a way to relax and heal the soul. As a writer working with communities across Scotland, from our prisons to Glasgow Women’s Library to the Gallery of Modern Art, I’ve experienced how poetry and writing can map both people and place, and even imagine new futures.”

November 29, St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, 7pm, £8.50, £7 concs. Tickets: bit.ly/MagiGtalk www.magigibson.co.uk