Tom Scott (poet)

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Tom Scott (6 June 1918 – 7 August 1995) was a Scottish poet, editor, and prose writer. His writing is closely tied to the New Apocalypse, the New Romantics, and the Scottish Renaissance.

Scott was born in Glasgow, Scotland. During World War II he served in the British Army in Britain and Nigeria. After the war he received an M.A. with Honours in English Literature and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. His first poems were published in 1941. Scott received an Atlantic Award for Literature in 1950 and traveled in France, Italy, and Sicily. During his travels he became interested in Scots literature as his own neglected native dialect, which shaped the direction of his work for the rest of his life.

He settled in Edinburgh and in 1953 married Heather Fretwell. He died in 1995 aged 77.


  • Seeven Poems o Maister Francis Villon: Made Oure intil Scots (1953) Tunbridge Wells: Pound Press.
  • An Ode til New Jerusalem (1956) Edinburgh: M. Macdonald.
  • A Possible Solution to the Scotch Problem (1963) Edinburgh: M. Macdonald.
  • The Ship and Ither Poems (1963) London, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dunbar: A Critical Exposition of the Poems (1966) Edinburgh, London: Oliver & Boyd.
  • Editor with John MacQueen, The Oxford Book of Scottish Verse (1966) Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Editor, Late Medieval Scots Poetry: A Selection from the Makars and Their Heirs down to 1610 (1967) London: Heinemann.
  • At the Shrine o the Unkent Sodger: A Poem for Recitation (1968) Preston: Akros Publications.
  • Tales of King Robert the Bruce: Freely Adapted from The Brus of John Barbour (1969) Edinburgh: Reprographia.
  • Editor, The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse (1970) Harmondsworth, Penguin.
  • (with Heather Scott) True Thomas the Rhymer and Other Tales of the Lowland Scots (1971) Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Brand the Builder (1975) London: Ember Press.
  • The Tree: An Animal Fable (1977) Dunfirmline: Borderline Press.
  • Tales of Sir William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland (1981) Edinburgh: G. Wright.
  • The Collected Shorter Poems of Tom Scott (1993) Edinburgh: Chapman; London: Agenda.

Further reading[edit]

  • Scott, Tom. 'Observations on Scottish Studies', Studies in Scottish Literature, v. 1 n. 1, July, 1963, pages 5–13.
  • Oxley, William. ‘Poetry as the heightened vernacular: Tom Scott’s Brand the Builder’, Agenda, 30(4)-31(1), 1992-3, pages 142-147.
  • Tom Scott Special Issue', Agenda, vol. 30, no. 4-vol. 31, no. 1 (Winter-Spring 1993)
  • Tom Scott Special Issue', Chapman, vol. 9, nos. 4-5 (Spring 1987)