Alex Main

Tom Leonard, 1944 - 2018. Poet

About this artwork

Tom Leonard is best known for his poetry written in the urban speech of the Glasgow area, which was revolutionary when his first collection ‘Six Glasgow Poems’ was published in 1969. The shortest of these, ‘Cold isn’t it’, consists of only two lines: “wirraw init thigithir missyz / geezyir kross”. His poetry often reflects on the social context and presumptions attached to what he calls ‘low status’ language, as opposed to ‘high status’ language which is devoid of a broad accent. Intimate Voices, a collection of early poems and essays won Leonard the Scottish Book of the Year Award in 1984. Leonard was writer in residence at several universities and libraries. From 2001 to 2009, he was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.

Alex Main

Alex Main