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Transphobia row leaves Scottish poetry scene in turmoil

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After the Scottish Poetry Library aired concerns over ‘escalating disharmony’, campaigners have questioned its respect for trans writers

A bitter conflict is escalating in the Scottish literary scene with the Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) standing accused of “institutional transphobia” after it said that it would not support “bullying and calls for no-platforming of writers”.

The organisation – an influential part of Scotland’s thriving poetry scene – released its statement in February after what it described as an “escalation, particularly on social media, of disharmony” and an increase in writers being no-platformed at literary events. It stressed that the statement was to encourage freedom of expression and was not tied to a specific incident, but, speaking to the National, SPL director Asif Khan said that these issues had affected the mental health of some unnamed poets, claiming some had become suicidal.

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