Scottish artist and poet, born in Nassau, Bahamas, of Scottish parents. His father had gained and lost a fortune by smuggling. He studied briefly at Glasgow School of Art, but originally attracted attention as a poet. In 1963 he began making Concrete poetry, in which the physical appearance of the poem—its shape and typography—is regarded as part of its meaning. From this he developed the idea of using artists and craftspeople—stone carvers, potters, calligraphers, even specialists in neon lighting—to translate his poems into other media.