TRIBUTES have been paid to the poet, writer and critic Tom Leonard, who has died at the age of 74.

The family of the celebrated, ground-breaking, writer has confirmed he died yesterday morning (21 December) after a period of time in hospital.

He was perhaps known best for his poems in Glaswegian dialect of Scots, notably Six Glasgow Poems and The Six O'Clock News.

Leonard, whose book Intimate Voices, in 1984, won the Scottish Book of the Year award, was also known for his critique of the education system.

The director of the Scottish Poetry Library, Asif Khan, said: "With the death of Tom Leonard, Scottish literature bids farewell to one of its genuine giants.

"He was a pioneer committed to representing the language and concerns of his West of Scotland working-class community at a time when such representations were scant to non-existent.

"The attitudes he exposed in his ground-breaking poem ‘Six O’Clock News’ remain relevant decades after its publication; his analysis of the way in which accent, grammar, spelling and pronunciation are used to sustain power structures is as penetrating today as it was the day it was written."

He added: "He was also a champion of those who’d gone before him, his anthology Radical Renfrew uncovering a history of working class voices lost to history.

"His humour, his experimentalism, his commitment to his craft and untameable intelligence will be much missed by readers and the many writers he continues to influence."

Many tributes are being paid to Leonard on social media.

Born in Glasgow in 1944, with Alasdair Gray and James Kelman, he was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow in 2001, a position he held until 2009.

The publisher Kevin Williamson, founder of Rebel Inc. and Neu! Reekie! said on Twitter: "Didnt think 2018 could get much worse but hearing Tom Leonard has now left us is terrible news.

"Loved that man so much.

"An inspiration who changed Scottish poetry forever & even how we think about our own language. Totally irreplaceable."

Mairi Kidd, the interim head of literature, languages and publishing at Creative Scotland, said: “We are all very sad to hear of the passing of Tom Leonard, poet, inspiration and someone who believed that ‘all livin language is sacred’.

"Our thoughts are with his family and many friends."

David Greig, the playwright and director of the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh, said: "I am so sorry to hear of the death of Tom Leonard.

"His work in 'Intimate Voices' and beyond was a liberation for so many Scottish writers of written and the spoken word.

"He was a working class, Glaswegian voice who never toed any line. He will be very greatly missed."