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  • Alistair Braidwood

Literary Lunches: Glasgow University’s Creative Conversations Series…

“I don’t like Mondays”, Bob Geldof once understandably proclaimed, but now the University of Glasgow present a series of literary events to change your view of the first day of the week forever. These have already seen Jackie Kay and Janice Galloway appear to read and talk about their life as writers, but Spring’s guests have just been announced. You want details? That’s what we’re here for…

 Creative Conversations  is a new series of Monday lunchtime literary events featuring readings and conversations from internationally renowned writers.

The audience is encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch, and books by featured authors will be for sale in the chapel after the event, courtesy of John Smiths bookshop.

Creative Conversations is organised by the Creative Writing programme and sponsored by the Ferguson Bequest

Free (seats subject to availability)

Monday 8th February 1pm, Glasgow University Chapel, Kerry Hudson

Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Her first novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float before He Stole My Ma, was published in 2012 by Chatto & Windus (Penguin Random House) and was the winner of the Scottish First Book Award while also being shortlisted for the Southbank Sky Arts Literature Award, Guardian First Book Award, Green Carnation Prize, Author’s Club First Novel Prize and the Polari First Book Award. Kerry’s second novel, Thirst, was published in 2014 by Chatto & Windus won France’s most prestigious award for foreign fiction, the Prix Femina and was shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. Kerry founded The WoMentoring Project and has written for Grazia, Guardian Review and YOU Magazine. She teaches with the National Academy of Writing, Arvon Foundation, Writers’ Centre Norwich and is a mentor for IdeasTap Inspires.

Twitter: @KerrysWindow

Here’s Kerry is in conversation with Colin Kelly:

Monday 22nd February 1pm, Glasgow University Chapel, Sam Riviere

Sam Riviere is the author of the poetry collections 81 Austerities (Faber & Faber, 2012), which won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, Standard Twin Fantasy (Eggbox, 2014) and Kim Kardashian’s Marriage (Faber & Faber, 2015). He studied at the Norwich School of Art and Design, and holds a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia. In 2009 he received an Eric Gregory Award. He is currently Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh and writes a poetry column for The Quietus.

Here’s Sam reading some of his work:

Monday 29th February 1pm, Glasgow University Chapel, Aonghas MacNeacail

Aonghas MacNeacail poet and songwriter, was born in Uig, on the Isle of Skye. He is also a broadcaster, journalist, scriptwriter, librettist and translator. A native Gael, he writes in Gaelic and English. His collections of poetry have been published in both languages, and his writing has appeared in literary journals all over the world. Aonghas has given poetry readings at major literary festivals across the globe – in Russia, Japan, Poland, Israel, the U.S.A., Canada, and throughout Western Europe. His work has been published in many languages, including German, Italian, Irish Gaelic, French, Hebrew, Finnish and Serbo-Croat.

Monday 7th March, 1pm, Glasgow University Chapel, Dorothea Smartt

Dorothea Smartt was born and brought up in London and is of Barbadian heritage.

She was Poet in Residence at Brixton Market and Attached Live Artist at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, where she was also awarded her first commission to create the collaborative performance from you to me to you. Her solo performance work, Medusa, combining poetry and visuals, was named an ‘Outstanding Black Example’ of British Live Art. In 2000 she was commissioned to write her first play, Fallout, which toured primary schools.

Her first poetry collection, Connecting Medium, was published in 2001, and contains many poems exploring her Barbadian heritage and her experience of growing up in London. The Caribbean Times describes her voice as one which ‘coils up your feelings, around granite chips of truth … unwinds solace, in the most soothing volleys.’ Her second collection, Samboo’s Grave/Bilal’s Grave (2008) explores the history of Samboo, an African slave brought from the Caribbean to Lancaster and buried at Sunderland Point.

Monday 14th March, 1pm, Glasgow University Chapel, James Robertson

James Robertson is a poet and award-winning novelist. He is also a publisher of poetry and of children’s books in Scots which provide a lively introduction to Scots-language literary heritage. James Robertson was Writer in Residence at Brownsbank Cottage, former home of Hugh MacDiarmid from 1993-1995, and was first Writer in Residence for the Scottish Parliament (October 2004). His Voyage of Intent (2005) is a book of sonnets and essays written from his experiences during this residency.

His novels are The Fanatic (2000); Joseph Knight (2003), winner of both the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award; and The Testament of Gideon Mack (2006). His latest novel is And The Land Lay Still (2010), which charts 60 years of change in Scotland and won the 2010 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award.

Here’s James reading ‘The News Where You Are’:

Monday 21st March, 1pm, Glasgow University Chapel, Jenni Fagan

Jenni Fagan’s debut novel, The Panopticon, received widespread critical acclaim in the UK and abroad and was included in the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award.

Fagan is a prize-winning poet and has twice been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. She has been on lists for The Sunday Times Short Story Award, The Dublin Impac Prize, The James Tait Black Prize, The Desmond Elliott Prize and was named as one of the Waterstones 11 best worldwide debuts in 2012. In 2013 she was the only Scottish writer to be on Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists list.

Fagan has written for The New York Times, The Independent and Marie Claire among others. She has also worked as a writer with many charities and groups including Norfolk Blind Association, Lewisham Hospital neonatal unit, young offenders, women in prison in the UK and the US and with women at risk. She is currently Writer in Residence at The University of Edinburgh and her second novel, The Sunlight Pilgrims, will be published by Random House in 2015. In the 2013, she was selected as one of Granta magazine’s decennial list of the 20 Best Young British Novelists.

Twitter: @Jenni_Fagan

Here’s Jenni introducing her rightly lauded debut novel, The Panopticon:

This is a great opportunity to hear and speak to some of the most interesting and arresting writers at work today. Not to be missed…


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