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23 February 2016, 19:25
Selectors have been impressed by the ``high calibre'' of wordsmiths in the frame to become the next new national poet for Scotland.
Liz Lochhead recently ended her five-year term as Scotland's makar, creating a vacancy for the key cultural role.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, former first ministers Alex Salmond and Henry McLeish, and Dr Robyn Marsack, the director of the Scottish Poetry Library, have met to discuss nominations for the post.
Following the meeting, they pledged to take time to deliberate before reaching a decision.
Ms Sturgeon said: "Over the last five years, Liz's work has made an impact on many people in Scotland and beyond and I would like to thank her on behalf of the former first ministers for her contribution to Scotland's culture in her role as makar.
"The former first ministers and I realise the importance of Scotland's national poet and we have been impressed by the high calibre of nominations for her replacement.
"We will consider our decision very carefully and it's important we take the time to select someone who can carry on Liz's legacy.''
Ms Lochhead wrote poems on a number of subjects throughout her time in the role, including whisky and theatre, the opening of the fourth session of the Scottish Parliament, the 200th anniversary of works by Wordsworth and Coleridge and Commonwealth Day in 2012.