The Edwin Morgan Trust is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) (SC043142). It was established in 2012 to administer the generous Award which the poet wished to create from the earnings of a long and distinguished writing career. His practical encouragement of young Scottish poets through this legacy is typically forward-looking. The Trust will ensure that talented poets have a focus for extending the scope of their writing through national competition, publication and mentoring.
The Trust’s main aim is to advance the experience of poetry in Scotland, and to encourage its teaching and practice, through a competitive Award for an unpublished collection by a young poet. More generally, it will support the practice of poetry writing and translation through a range of workshop opportunities; enable arts practitioners in various fields to use Morgan’s work as an inspiration and stimulus for their own; support relevant publications and learning experiences, nationally and internationally.
The main terms of reference for the Trust are the poet’s final wishes. He designated the terms and structure of the Award, and invited four trustees to carry it forward. The trustees also act as his literary and legal executors. They have power to make decisions about the details of the Award, within the spirit of the poet’s original vision.
Several of the Trustees knew the poet well and supported his work for many years.
David Kinloch was Professor of Poetry at the University of Strathclyde until 2019, where he led the teaching of Creative Writing. A poet, editor and critic, he has published several collections with Carcanet Press, which was Edwin Morgan’s UK publisher from the 1970s onwards. He is currently Chair of the Trust.
Julie Johnstone was the Librarian of the Scottish Poetry Library from 2007 to 2017, and Curator of the Edwin Morgan Archive, acquired by the SPL in 2009. She is an artist, independent publisher (at Essence Press) and curator.
Robyn Marsack was Director of the Scottish Poetry Library for 16 years until her retirement from the position in 2016, a period during which she got to know Edwin Morgan well. She is currently the Chair of the Board of StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival.
Louise Welsh is the author of eight novels, most recently Plague Times Trilogy, and has collaborated on four operas with the composer Stuart MacRae. Louise was co-founder and director of the Empire Café, a multi-disciplinary exploration of Scotland’s relationship with the North Atlantic slave trade. She is Professor of Creative Writing at University of Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature @louisewelsh00
Hamish Whyte runs Mariscat Press, the poet’s Scottish publisher. A poet and editor, he was also Morgan’s bibliographer and ensured the preservation of his working library and widespread publications.He is editor of Morgan’s new Selected Poems, published in 2020 as a Carcanet Classic.
The Trust also draws on the knowledge and expertise of a group of advisory poets, currently Juana Adcock, Chris Creegan, Peter MacKay, Jane McKie, Samuel Tongue , Roseanne Watt and Christie Williamson.