Remembering a classic poet

Author Christopher Rush (second from left) with former Waid English head of department Alastair Leslie (left) and former pupils of Alastair Mackie, Christine Keay and John Lloyd, who works for the Financial Times, at the publication of Mackie's anthology of poems.

Author Christopher Rush (second from left) with former Waid English head of department Alastair Leslie (left) and former pupils of Alastair Mackie, Christine Keay and John Lloyd, who works for the Financial Times, at the publication of Mackie's anthology of poems.

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THE reputation of one of Scotland’s finest poets is enjoying fresh promotion from a group of his former scholars.

A 40-year collection of work by Anstruther’s Alastair Mackie, a former English teacher at Waid Academy, has just been published, thanks to the efforts of well-known East Neuk author, Christopher Rush, and others.

Tribute was paid to Mr Mackie, who died in 1995, at a special book launch in the Hew Scott Hall, Anstruther.

Mr Rush, along with East Neuk writer Andrew Greig, and many others, were among pupils inspired by Mr Mackie’s creative art during his career at Waid from 1959-83.

Mr Mackie asked Mr Rush to take charge of his literrary archives and the result is the new 450-page volume of verse, published by Two Ravens Press.

“Even readers previously familiar with the work will be straggered by the volume of the achievement and the quality of the writing, including many poems in English and over 100 translations from French, German, Italian and Russian poets, as well as the Greek and Latin classics,” said Mr Rush.

“Alistair Mackie was an ‘old master’ in more ways than one and is a true master of the art of poetry.”

Mr Rush, holding the book, is pictured with former Waid English head of department Alastair Leslie, left and former pupils of Mr Mackie, Christine Keay and John Lloyd, of the Financial Times.