Liz Lochhead Biography
(1947– ), Memo for Spring, The Grimm Sisters, Dreaming Frankenstein, and Collected Poems
Scottish poet and dramatist, born in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, educated at Glasgow School of Art. Her first two collections of verse, Memo for Spring (1972) and The Grimm Sisters (1981), established her as a poet whose refreshing humour and directness were combined with a shrewdly understated technical accomplishment. Her subsequent volumes, in which an increasingly feminist perspective is evident, are Dreaming Frankenstein, and Collected Poems (1984), True Confessions and New Clichés (1985), and Bagpipe Muzak (1991). Much of her poetry, of which she is a noted performer, makes especially vigorous use of the speech idioms of the Glasgow area. The recurrence of dramatic modes in her verse links it with her work as a playwright, which began with her treatment of Mary Shelley in Blood and Ice (1982). Her numerous other plays include Silver Service (1984) and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, an exuberant and provocative exploration of history and the female psyche, which was published with her version of Dracula in 1989; her translation into Scots of Molière's Tartuffe (1985) was widely acclaimed.