Anna MacDonald was born in Dundee, the eldest of six children. She was educated at Rockwell Primary School and Rockwell Secondary School, then worked for a number of companies in Dundee, including Watson and Philip and Burndept-Vidor. Anna also worked at the University of Dundee, where she was the operator of the first word processer the University used.
A prolific and award winning poet, Anna MacDonald produced several collections of verse, and was also the author of booklets about old Dundee. Much of her poetry relates to Dundee and its culture. Her poem 'Oor Wullie' was widely used in conjunction with the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail in Dundee in 2016 and Oor Wullie's Big Bucket Trail in 2019, while her poem 'Adele Penguin' was been used to promote Maggie's Penguin Parade in Dundee in 2018. Her poetry has been used in schools and material produced by Verdant Works. Anna also translated the Japanese poem Furusato into English for the Nagano Winter Olympic Games in 1998.
Anna MacDonald was also recognised for her contributions to traditional music, and for many years performed as part of the 'Temperance Two Showband' with her second husband Clifford Inglis, who died in 2018. She was also the author of an unpublished autobiography which gives a frank account of her life and provides an invaluable insight into working class life in twentieth century Dundee. A year before his death, Cliff Ingles wrote his autobiography "I Belonged to Glasgow" which includes some of Anna's poems.
Anna died in 2022.
Examples of Anna MacDonald's poetry can be found at http://bygone.dundeecity.gov.uk/people/anna-macdonald
Cliff Inglis is featured on this podcast from the 2017 Dundee Literary Festival: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/literarydundeepodcast/episodes/2017-10-17T22_00_00-07_00