Dunn in December
by St Mungo's Mirrorball
The next Mirrorball Showcase will feature readings by Douglas Dunn, David Kinloch, J L Williams and Matthew Griffiths. It will be held on December 7th, 7pm in the Clubroom of the CCA. Members free, guests £7/4.
Douglas Dunn was born in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, in 1942 and lived there until he married at the age of twenty-two. After working as a librarian in Scotland and Akron, Ohio, he studied English at Hull University, graduating in 1969. He then worked for eighteen months in the university library after which, in 1971, he became a freelance writer. In 1991 he was appointed Professor in the School of English at the University of St Andrews. As well as ten collections of poetry, including Elegies (1985), The Year’s Afternoon, The Donkey’s Ears (both 2000), and New Selected Poems 1964-2000 (2003), Douglas Dunn has written several radio and television plays, including Ploughman’s Share and Scotsman by Moonlight. He has also edited various anthologies, including Twentieth-Century Scottish Poetry (2006). Douglas Dunn has won a Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and has twice been awarded prizes by the Scottish Arts Council. In 1981 he was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for St Kilda’s Parliament. In January 1986 he was overall winner of the 1985 Whitbread Book of the Year Award for his collection Elegies.
The Noise of a Fly is the first collection from Douglas Dunn in sixteen years, and the first since he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2013. It is a book brimming with warmth, mischief and a self-deprecating humour, as well as with a charming, ‘Larkinesque’ crankiness: a quarrel with ageing, an impatience with youth, the grievousness of losing friends and colleagues. But for all its intimate, hearthside rumination, this is a volume of poems that looks outward in equal measure: at Scottish independence, British politics and an international refugee crisis, and reflects unflinchingly on what it is to consider oneself a contributor to society. Penned with a dexterous wit and a steady nerve, The Noise of a Fly is a mesmeric imagining of our later years by one of this country’s most senior and celebrated writers.
‘It is hard to think of many poets who can equal his combination of imaginative ambition, formal resource and range of tone . . . Written on these terms, poetry is a matter of permanent urgency.’ Sean O’Brien
‘The most respected Scottish poet of his generation.’ Nicholas Wroe
David Kinloch was born and brought up in Glasgow. A graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford, he was a teacher of French for many years and is currently Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde. His publications include Un Tour d’Ecosse, In My Father’s House and Finger of a Frenchman, all from Carcanet. He launches his next book, In Search of Dustie-Fute (Carcanet) in August 2017.In 2004 he was a winner of the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award. In 2006 he held a Scottish Writers’ Bursary from the Scottish Arts Council and in 2013 was awarded a Fellowship by the Arts and Humanities Research Coucil for his poetry.
Books by JL Williams include Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), Our Real Red Selves (Vagabond Poets, 2015) and House of the Tragic Poet (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2016). A new collection exploring the fine line between abundance and apocalypse, After Economy, was published by Shearsman Books in May 2017. She is interested in expanding dialogues through poetry across languages, perspectives and cultures and in cross-form work, visual art, dance, opera and theatre.
Published widely in journals, her poetry has been translated into Romanian, Hungarian, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish, Polish, German, French and Greek and she has read at international poetry festivals in Scotland, Romania, Turkey, Cyprus and Canada. Williams wrote the libretto for a new opera, Snow, which premiered in London in Spring 2017, was Writer-in-Residence for the British Art Show 8 in Edinburgh with the artist Catherine Street and plays in the poetry and music band Opul.
Williams gives regular poetry readings and workshops and is on the Live Literature funded list of Scottish Book Trust Authors. She curates poetry events and creates workshops and professional development activities for poets. www.jlwilliamspoetry.co.uk
Born in Birmingham, living in London, Matthew Griffiths spent a spell in St Andrews and did a doctorate in Durham. His collection Natural Economy and pamphlet How to be Late are published by Red Squirrel, recent poems have appeared in The Dark Horse and The Tree Line, and his critical book The New Poetics of Climate Change came out from Bloomsbury Academic this summer. He’s also written Doctor Who short stories for Big Finish.