Perhaps Roberta Burns is the much less well known sister of poet Rabbie Burns?
Then again, maybe Roberta is the woman Rabbie Burns would've been, had he not been born a boy...
That said, Roberta Burns could also be another wife of The Ploughman Poet, a fictional, ghostly embodiment of the many, many women Rabbie slept with but didn't marry; women who bore his kids who were never legitimised and the woman who reportedly died in childbirth, facing the consequences to the very last seconds of her life for the frequent result of unprotected sex in the 1700s.
Roberta Burns could also be a catch-all though, don't you think? An annual shortbread-shorthand to speak of poetic work in Scotland that doesn't come from Rabbie but instead comes from women. And there are many, many Scottish women who've written incredible poetry, since Burns' time, before and beyond.
One thing about Roberta that's for sure is she's featured in The Grantidote's Scottish Women's Poetry Special, released on Burns Night 2018. Drop in and listen to Heather Pearson, Catriona Courtier, Hugh Hunter, Pauline Kirby and Robert Somynne challenging you and themselves to stage a woman-centering alternative to Burn's Night and discussing Scottish tradition in a feminist context. Grab a coffee or untangle your headphones and go for a wander because these are conversations your good, open, laughter-loving heart is not going to want to miss.