A woman with short hair smiling in front of a red background

Makar to Makar

A new series of live-streamed conversation, spoken word and music gigs

Created and curated by Jackie Kay

The National Poet for Scotland or Makar Jackie Kay’s popular online show Makar to Makar returns for a Christmas special on Thursday 17 December. Re-named Makar to Cracker, Kay will host a line-up that includes the former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Jen Hadfield (the youngest poet to win the T.S. Eliot Prize) and Imtiaz Dharker, with music provided by Mercury Music Prize-nominated singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams. Sit down with a dram and a mince pie as Kay brings you yuletide poems, songs and conversation to warm a snowman’s heart.

On Thursday 28 February, 7pm Jackie Kay invites the nation and the world to join her for a virtual Burns Night. With guest stars to be announced in January, Kay will raise a dram in tribute to the Bard and offer her own take on Burns Night traditions such as the Toast to the Lassies. So dry clean your kilt and get mashing those tatties; pandemic or not, Jackie Kay will be paying a very special tribute, from one national poet to another.

How to watch Makar to Cracker

New episodes will be available to watch right here on Thursday 17 December at 7pm and on Thursday 28 January at 7pm.


‘I’m thrilled to be invited to perform with such an exciting poetry and music line-up for Makar to Cracker – my favourite online series during lockdown.’

Carol Ann Duffy

‘Curating and hosting Makar to Makar was a joy and got me through the first lockdown! Christmas this year is going to be so different for everyone. We hope to bring some joy and some festive spirit to our Makar to Cracker and have a cracking line up of poets and singers to help you kick off your festive season. Crack open a bottle - bring your own cracker and join us!’

Jackie Kay


For more information visit makar2makar.com

Produced by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with HOME Manchester, Edinburgh International Book Festival, School of Arts and Media, Salford and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Listen to collected poems

You can listen to selected poems from the series on our soundcloud channel.

Watch previous episodes of Makar to Makar

In March, with a global pandemic leading to a national lockdown, the National Poet for Scotland or Makar Jackie Kay began work on a show that would provide a little light in a dark time. Bringing together poetry, music and conversation, Kay’s show, Makar to Makar, recreated her childhood memories of parties held in her living room where everyone would take a turn reciting a poem or singing.

Kicking off in May, Makar to Makar ran for 14 weeks across a turbulent summer of protest and uncertainty, providing an hour of calm every Thursday evening when the show streamed. Over 14 shows, 21 guests included the former National Poet for Scotland Liz Lochhead, Don Paterson, crime novelist Val McDermid, actor Adjoa Andoh, Ted Hughes Award-winners Raymond Antrobus and Jay Bernard, and folk music legend Peggy Seeger.

Watch previous Episodes of Makar to Makar below.