Tessa Ransford, OBE (1938-2015)



Tessa Ransford was an established poet, translator, literary editor, reviewer and cultural activist on many fronts for over 40 years, having also worked as founder and director of the Scottish Poetry Library. Tessa initiated the annual Callum Macdonald memorial award for publishers of pamphlet poetry in Scotland, now in its 14th year. Tessa was president of Scottish Pen from 2003 until 2006.

Tessa’s Not Just Moonshine: new and selected poems was published in 2008 by Luath Press, Edinburgh. Two books from Luath in 2012 were a two-way translation book of poems, Rug of a Thousand Colours, written with the Palestinian poet Iyad Hayatleh, who lives in Glasgow, and inspired by the Five Pillars of Islam; and Don’t Mention This to Anyone, poems featuring India and Pakistan with Urdu calligraphy by Jila Peacock. Her final books were a collection of poems and photographs inspired by Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, entitled Made in Edinburgh, and A Good Cause, both from Luath.


Tessa Ransford, OBE



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  • Queen Margaret University, 2005–2008
  • Centre for Human Ecology, 2001–2003