Pic Alan Richardson Dundee, Pix-AR.co.uk
Bill Herbert (left) and Andy Jackson
Centuries of commerce, culture and tumultuous change have washed over the city, much of it with the Tay as its source. Even after an exciting period in which the city vied - in vain - to be UK City of Culture 2017, the river and its people are being seen in a new light from inside and out. And during Book Week Scotland, two of the city’s foremost writers have promised there is much more to its literary traditions than most realise. When Andy Jackson and Bill Herbert, now the city’s Makar or official poet, met in 2011 they expressed a frustration that history often acknowledges a single, hulking member of Dundee’s literary family. Andy says: “The name of William McGonagall often seems to appear at the top of the list of Dundee’s cultural contribution, particularly in poetry. “But it’s been home to a disproportionate number of world-class writers, all of whom have written about the city - and in contemporary terms, we have some of the biggest names in British poetry from here - living here in some cases. “Some people have been ‘disappeared’ from history and we’re addressing that in a new anthology of Dundee poetry past and present entitled Whaleback City: the poetry of Dundee and its hinterland.