Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow

university of glasgow

Free & Open to the Public

 University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Events 2024

May Sumbwanyambe Monday 25 March 1 p.m.

Creative Conversations: May Sumbwanyambe


Alistair Paul, Monday 4 March, Memorial Chapel

Alistair Paul Creative Conversations

Donna McLean,  Monday 19 February 1 p.m. University Memorial Chapel

Creative Conversations: Donna McLean


Events 2023

Isis Semaj-Hall, Joseph Black Building, University of Glasgow Thursday 23 March

Creative Conversations: Isis Semaj-Hall

Creative Conversations: Deborah Moffatt – Monday 13 March, 2023 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Creative Conversations: Deborah Moffatt


Cailean Steed, Thursday 9 March, 6 – 8 p.m. Woolfson Medical Building

Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow

Arun Sood, Monday 6 March, 1 p.m. University Chapel

Arun Sood at Creative Conversations

Kathrine Sowerby, Monday 27 February, 2023, Creative Conversations

Kathrine Sowerby, Creative Conversations

Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir 20 February,2023 at 1 p.m.

Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir

Events in 2022

C.J. Cooke, Monday 31 October at 1 p.m. University Chapel

C.J. Cooke – Creative Conversations

Yara Rodrigues Fowler, Monday 10 October, 2022 at 1 p.m.

Creative Conversations: Yara Rodrigues Fowler

Barbara Jenkins, Monday 26 September 1 p.m. University Chapel

Creative Conversations: Barbara Jenkins

Gwendoline Riley, Thursday 22 September, Wolfson Building

Creative Conversations: Gwendoline Riley

Scottish Author Showcase with Publishing Scotland

25 August, 2022 at University Chapel, 5.30 p.m.

Our Stories, Your Stories – Celebrating Memoirs

Mara Menzies, Online

Event at Creative Conversations Monday 7 March, 2022


Mara Menzies, Creative Conversations

Michael Pederson, Monday 28 February, 2022

At Creative Conversations in person at University Chapel and Online

Michael Pederson Creative Conversations

Previous Events

samantha walton

Samantha Walton at Creative Conversations 1 November 2021


Zoom Events during Coronavirus Pandemic

Bernard MacLaverty, 16 September, 2021, 3 pm

bernard maclaverty robert burns

Bernard MacLaverty photo by Robert Burns

– First live event in 2021 – Back in the Chapel.

Creative Activism – Prof Louise Welsh in Discussion with Sue John and Kate Charlesworth

Thursday 26 November, 2020 5 p.m.

Creative Activism: 20th Anniversary of Scotland’s Repeal of Section 28

Past Events Creative Conversations

P.M. Freestone at Creative Conversations 23 November, 2020 1 – 2 p.m.

P.M. Freestone at Creative Conversations

Creative Conversations: Sandy NicDhòmhnaill Jones – 16 November, 2020 1 p.m. Online

Creative Conversations: Sandy NicDhòmhnaill Jones

Queerness in 1980’s Glasgow – Douglas Stuart 16 November 6 p.m

Queerness in 1980s Glasgow – Douglas Stuart

Peter May, 9 November Online

Creative Conversations: Peter May

Elizabeth Reeder, 5 November, 2020

Creative Conversations: Elizabeth Reeder

Daisy Lafarge – 2 November, 2020 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Creative Conversations: Daisy Lafarge

Thursday 29 October at 7.30 p.m. on Zoom Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Creative Conversations: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Jemma Neville, Monday 28 September, 2020 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Creative Conversations: Jemma Neville

Homi K Bhabha, Creative Conversations

1 October on Zoom 5.30 p.m.


Andrew O’Hagan Zoom Event 3 September, 2020

Creative Conversations: Andrew O’Hagan

Nicholson Baker – Zoom Event 17 September, 2020 at 5 p.m.


See Full Details

Iain Maloney Poet and Novelist Zoom Event 25 May 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Creative Conversations: Iain Maloney, Novelist and Poet – Zoom Event

Jamaica Kincaid Zoom Event Wednesday 13 May, 2020 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Jamaica Kincaid: novelist and writer – Creative Conversations ZOOM EVENT

Will Harris – 4 May, 2020 at 1 p.m.

Creative Conversations Zoom Event Will Harris

Monday 20 April, 2020 – Special Digital Event with Dean Atta 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Creative Conversations – Dean Atta Virtual Format Monday 20 April, 2020

Programme for Winter/Spring 2020

Niall O’Gallagher Monday 10 February, 2020

Creative Conversations: Niall O’Gallagher

Nicky Melville Poet and Artist – Monday 3 February, 2020

Nicky Melville: Poet and Artist at Creative Conversations

Kate Charlesworth Monday 27 January, 2020

Creative Conversation: Kate Charlesworth, Illustrator and Writer

Creative Conversations kicks off in 2020 with the wonderful Val McDermid

Val McDermid Crime Writer – Creative Conversations

Programme Autumn 2019

I Am A Rohinga – Special Event 9 December, 5.30 p.m.

I Am A Rohinga Creative Conversations

9 December, Karen Campbell 1 p.m. University Chapel

Karen Campbell: Novelist at Creative Conversations

Thomas A Clark – Monday 18 November, 20191 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Thomas A Clark: Poet Artist Curator at Creative Converstions

Monday 11 November, 2019 1 till 2 p.m. – Nina Allan

Nina Allan Speculative Fiction Writer – Creative Conversations

Monday 4 November, 2019 1 – 2 pm – Adura Onashile

Adura Onashile: Artist and Playwright, Creative Conversations

Abir Mukherjee, Monday 21 October, 2019

Creative Conversations: Abir Mukherjee – Crime Novelist


RA Jamieson at Creative Conversations, Monday 14 October 1 p.m.

Creative Conversations: Robert Alan Jamieson – Shetlandic Poet and Translator

Glasgow’s Welcome Tuesday 15 October – Hunter Halls 5 p.m.

glasgows welcome

Glasgow’s Welcome University of Glasgow

Sara Sheridan Monday 7 October, 2019

Creative Conversations Sara Sheridan

Behrouz Boochani Monday 30th September, 2019

Behrouz Boochani with Scottish PEN, Creative Conversations

Spring Programme 2019creative conversations 2019 first


Kathleen Winter Monday 13 May, 2019

Kathleen Winter, Creative Conversations

Previous Events

Monday 18 March, 2019

Andrew O’Hagan Creative Conversations

Monday 11 March, 2019

Poet Nadine Aisha Jassat at Creative Conversations

Monday, 4 March, 2019

Angus Peter Campbell / Aonghas Phàdraig Caimbeul, Creative Conversations

Monday 18 February, 2019 1 p.m.

Creative Conversations – Novelist Jacob Ross

Monday 4 February, 2019 1 p.m.

Creative Conversations: Mark Cousins

Monday 28 January, 2019

Creative Conversations: DUB POET D’BI YOUNG ANITAFRIKA

Sarah Moss Novelist

Monday 21 January, 2019

Novelist Sarah Moss Creative Conversations

Poet Rachael Allen

Monday 14 January, 2019 1pm – 2 pm

Rachael Allen, Creative Conversations

7 January, 2019

Stuart MacBride, Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow

Karine Polward – Singer Songwriter – Monday 10 December, 2018

Karine Polwart, Creative Conversations

Monday 3 December – Ann Cleeves, Novelist

Novelist Ann Cleeves, Creative Conversations

Monday 26 November, 2018 – Zinnie Harris

Creative Conversations: Zinnie Harris, playwright, screenwriter and theatre director.

Monday 19 November, 2018

Simon Carlyle and Gregor Sharp, Creative Conversations

Liam McIlvanney, Nove, Monday 12 October, 2018

Tawona Sithole, Poet and Musician Creative Conversations

Monday 29 October, 2018

tawona sithole

Full details


claire mcfall cc

Monday, 15 October, 2018, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Details of Event

Maya Chowdhry, Creative Conversations

Monday, 8 October, 1 p.m.
maya chowdhry


Full details

1 October, 2018 at 1 p.m.

Jane Harris Creative Conversations University of Glasgow

Richard Holloway, Monday 24th September, 2018

richard holloway

See details

stuart murdoch

Stuart Murdoch, Monday 16th April, 2018
Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow

Musician, songwriter and filmmaker Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian in conversation about his work with Colin Herd from the University of Glasgow’s Creative Writing Programme.

Colin Herd – 19 February, 2018

colin herd

Colin Herd is a poet and Lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Glasgow.

His first collection of poems “too ok” was published by BlazeVOX in 2011. A pamphlet, “like”, was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press in 2011 and a second full-length collection ‘Glovebox’, was published by Knives Forks and Spoons Press in 2013.

Read full feature

Denise Mina –Monday 5 February 1 – 2 p.m.

Denise Mina

(Read the review by Pat Byrne)

Denise Mina’s first novel Garnethill, published in 1998, won the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel. She has now published over 14 books and also writes short stories, plays and graphic novels. Her Alex Morrow and Paddy Meehan series are beloved by critics and fans.

Full details

David Keenan Writer

david keenan

Monday 29 January, 2018
1 – 2 PM University Chapel

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Free & Open to the Public

David Keenan is an author, critic and musician. He is the author of This is Memorial Device (2017), a novel which the Guardian called “one of the most acute, affecting and aphoristic novels in recent years” and England’s Hidden Reverse, a biography of Coil, Current 93 and Nurse With Wound.

He has been a regular contributor to The Wire since 1995, and proprietor of Volcanic Tongue, a shop, distributor, record label and mailorder business that he runs with his partner, the musician and artist Heather Leigh Murray.

Full details

Poet JL Williams

poet jl williams

22 January, 2018 1 p.m.

Free and all welcome.

JL Williams was born in New Jersey and studied at Wellesley College and on the MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. Her poetry has been published in journals including The Compass, Magma, Edinburgh Review, Poetry Wales, The Wolf, Shearsman, Fulcrum and Stand.

Full details

Programme for Winter/Spring 2018 Announced

creative conversations 2018

Creative Conversations, Sanjeev Kohli and Donald McLeary

sanjeeve kohli and donald mcleary

Writers and Comedians Sanjeev Kohli and Donald McLeary

With host Louise Welsh

Monday 15 January
1 – 2 PM University Chapel

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Free & Open to the Public

Sanjeev Kohli and Donald McLeary are the writers behind the award-winning Radio Comedy Fags, Mags and Bags, which runs on Radio 4.They received a Writers Guild Award in November 2008 for Radio Comedy of the Year.

Full details

Anne Donovan – Monday, 8 January, 2018


University of Glasgow Chapel, 1  p.m.

Free & Open to the Public

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Anne Donovan is the author of the short story collection, Hieroglyphics and other Stories (2001), and the novels, Buddha Da (2003), Being Emily (2008) and Gone Are The Leaves (2014), all published by Canongate.
Further details


Review – Vahni Capildeo at Creative Conversations 4 December, 2017 by Pat Byrne

Alasdair Gray at Creative Conversations review by Pat Byrne, October, 2017

Bernard MacLaverty at Creative Conversations, review by Pat Byrne, February 2016

Autumn/Winter 2017

university of glasgow

University of Glasgow – photograph by Jim Byrne

Free & Open to the Public

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Poet Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo

Monday 4 December
1 – 2 p.m.

Vahni Capildeo is an award-winning poet born in Trinidad and living in the UK.

Her poetry collections include No Traveller Returns (2003), Undraining Sea (2009), Dark and Unaccustomed Words (2012), Utter (2013), Simple Complex Shapes (Shearsman, 2015), Measures of Expatriation (2016), which won the 2016 Forward Prize.

Full details

Nuar Alsadir 20 November, 2017

Nuar Alsadir Nuar Alsadir

Monday 20 November, 2017
1 – 2 p.m.

Nuar Alsadir is a poet, writer, and psychoanalyst

She is the author of the poetry collections Fourth Person Singular (2017), shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Collection; and More Shadow Than Bird (Salt Publishing, 2012).

Full details

Mary Paulson-Ellis, Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow, Monday 30th October, 2017

mary paulson-ellis

1 – 2 PM University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Free & Open to the Public

Mary Paulson-Ellis is an Edinburgh-based writer and University of Glasgow Creative Writing MLitt alumna whose debut novel The Other Mrs Walker was Waterstone’s Scottish Book of the Month in March 2017 and was a recipient of the Amazon Rising Star Award.

Full details Mary Paulson-Ellis at Creative Conversations

Joanna Walsh Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow, 16 October, 2017

Leila Aboulela – Mon 25th September, 2017

leila abouleiajpg

First Creative Conversations Guest Autumn Programme 2017

University Chapel  – Monday 25 September, 2017 – 1 pm.

All Welcome! Free! Bring your lunch

Novelist Alasdair Gray

alasdair and abla oudeh

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Monday 2 October, 2017
1 – 2 PM University Chapel
Free & Open to the Public  (bring your lunch)

Alasdair Gray is a Scottish writer and artist. His most acclaimed work is his novel, Lanark, published in 1981. It is now regarded as a classic, and was described by The Guardian as “one of the landmarks of 20th-century fiction.”

Further details

Some Past Events:

ian rankin

Creative Conversations: Best-Selling Crime Writer Ian Rankin – 20 March, 2017

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Ian Rankin is one of Scotland’s most prolific crime writers. To date he has published 25 novels, two short story collections, one original graphic novel and one novella, and a non-fiction book.

Further detils

January – March 2017 – Programme Continues:

Monday 13 March 2017

Creative Conversations: Best-Selling Crime Writer Ian Rankin
Monday 20 March 2017

Polly Clark – Monday, 13 March, 2017 at 1 p.m.

polly clark

Monday 13 March 2017, 1 p.m.
University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Polly Clark is an award-winning poet and novelist. She is the author of three poetry collections. Her forthcoming debut novel Larchfield (available March 2017) won the MsLexia Prize. She has won the Eric Gregory Award and has been shortlisted for the TS Eloit Prize. Her pamphlet A Handbook for the Afterlife was shortlisted in the 2016 Michael Marks Awards and a volume of New and Selected Poems, Afterlife, is due in 2018.

Further details

Creative Conversations: Fiction Writer Linda Cracknell – Mon 6 March, 2017

linda cracknell

Monday 6 March 2017 1 p.m. until 2 p.m.

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Linda Cracknell is an award-winning writer of fiction, radio drama and creative non-fiction. She won the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday short story competition and has since published two collections of short stories. She was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book Award for her story collection Life Drawing and the Robin Jenkins Literary Award for environmental writing. Her first novel Call of the Undertow, set in Caithness, was published in 2013.

More information about Linda Cracknell

Poet William Letford – Monday 27 February 2017

william letford

Monday 27 February 2017
13:00 – 14:00
University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

William Letford has an M.Litt in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. He was the recipient of a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust and an Edwin Morgan Travel Bursary…

Further details

Louise Welsh- Monday 20 February 2017

louise welsh

Monday 20 February 2017
13:00 – 14:00
Public lectures
Louise Welsh
Events – Creative Conversations

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Louise Welsh is the author of seven novels, most recently Death is a Welcome Guest (John Murray 2015). She is the editor of Yonder Awa, a collection of poetry on the theme of Scotland and the North Atlantic slave trade by Scottish and Caribbean writers and Ghost a collection of one hundred ghost stories (Head of Zeus, 2015).

Further details

Playwright & Novelist Peter Arnott – Monday 6 February 2017

peter arnott 2

Creative Conversations: Playwright & Novelist Peter Arnott

Monday 6 February 2017
13:00 – 14:00
University Chapel


Peter Arnott was born in Glasgow and began his career at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in May 1985 with White Rose. That same month his play The Boxer Benny Lynch opened in Glasgow Arts Centre. His first Radio Play, The Genesis Rock, was recorded in 2013, and his Janis Joplin: Full Tilt debuted at Oran Mor and has gone on to touring extensively. Further information

Monday 30 January, 2017 – Richard Price

Creative Conversations: Poet Richard Price

Monday 30 January 2017

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Richard Price, hailing from Renfrewshire, is recognized as one of the more important voices of his generation, a poet who moves comfortably between the lyrical and the avant-garde. His collection Lucky Day was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize, and he was an influential figure in a literary movement which he named: Informationist poetry.

Further information

Monday 23 January, 2017 – Malika Booker

malika booker

Malika Booker is a British poet, performer and playwright. Her writing spans poetry, theatre, monologue, installation and education. Booker is a Douglas Caster Fellow at the University of Leeds, where she is working on her second collection, The Bread of Redemption, She was chair of the Forward Prizes for Poetry Panel in 2016.

More information.

Monday 16 January, 2017 – Award-Winning Writer AL Kennedy


AL Kennedy is a Dundee-born writer of novels, short stories, drama, non-fiction and journalism. She is the author of 17 books: 6 literary novels, 1 science fiction novel, 7 short story collections and 3 works of non-fiction.

Monday 12th December, 2016 Graeme Macrae Burnet

graeme burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet  was born in Kilmarnock in 1967. He studied English Literature and Film & TV at Glasgow University before spending some years teaching in France, the Czech Republic and Portugal. His first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, was published by Saraband in 2014. The Herald called it ‘a captivating psychological thriller.’  His second novel His Bloody Project, which tells the story of a brutal triple murder in a Ross-shire crofting community in 1869, was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Book Prize and the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year and is due to published in over 20 countries.

Monday 5 December: Andy Wightman

‌Andy Wightman is a writer, researcher, analyst, commentator and activist on issues of land, power, governance, democracy and money.  He studied forestry at Aberdeen University and spent some time working as an environmental scientist before becoming self-employed in 1992. In 1996 I wrote Who Owns Scotland(Canongate) and in 1999 wrote Scotland: Land & Power. The Agenda for Land Reform in Scotland.   In 2010, he wrote The Poor had No Lawyers (Birlinn), an attempt to provide a historical analysis of the land question and to reinvigorate debate around land relations.  Andy Wightman is a writer, researcher, analyst, commentator and activist on issues of land, power, governance, democracy and money.

Further Details

28 November, 2016 1 p.m: Kevin MacNeil 


Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

‌Kevin MacNeil is a novelist, poet, playwright, journalist and writing tutor born and raised in the Outer Hebrides, now living in London. His novels, A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde(Polygon) and bestselling debut, The Stornoway Way (Penguin), were both published to widespread critical acclaim. While his first book, Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate), won the Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize for best poetry collection published in Europe by a writer under 35.

Monday 21 November, 2016: Carolyn Jess Cooke


University Chapel, Monday 21 November, 2016 – 1 p.m.

Carolyn Jess Cooke’s books have been published in 23 languages. She has previously received an Eric Gregory Award, a Tyrone Guthrie Award, a Major Arts Council of England Award, and she has twice received a Northern Promise Award. She lives in north-east England with her husband and four children.

More information

Monday 7 November: Amy Liptrot ‌


Amy Liptrot has published her work with various magazines, journals and blogs and she has written a regular column for Caught by the River out of which The Outrun has emerged. As well as writing for local newspaper, Orkney Today, and editing the Edinburgh Student newspaper, Amy has worked as an artist’s model, a trampolinist and in a shellfish factory. The Outrun is her first book.

Twitter: @amy_may

kirsty logan

31 October: Kirsty Logan

1 p.m. – Free event.

Reading a brand new horror story for Hallowe’en

‌Kirsty Logan lives in Glasgow and is a writer of fiction and journalism.  Her books are The Gracekeepers and The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales.  Her short fiction and poetry has been published in print and online, recorded for radio and podcasts, and exhibited in galleries.

Malachy Tallack, Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow Monday 17 October, 2016

>Photo by Craig Colahan

Monday 17 October, 2016 1pm, Glasgow University Chapel

University Chapel, West Quadrangle, Main Building Gilmorehill Campus, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Malachy Tallack is from Shetland. His debut book, Sixty Degrees North, was an exploration of the landscapes and cultures of the sixtieth parallel, and tackled that most challenging of questions: what does it mean to be at home? His new book, The Un-Discovered Islands, is concerned with the geography of the mind, introducing an archipelago of mythical, phantom and fraudulent islands. Malachy is a writer, singer-songwriter and contributing editor of The Island Review.


Liz Lochhead – Monday 3rd October, 2016 – 1 p.m.
University Chapel


Liz Lochhead ‌was born in Motherwell in 1947. While studying Drawing and Painting at the Glasgow School of Art she began to write seriously, gradually losing her way with her initial dream of becoming a painter.  In 2005 Liz became Poet Laureate of Glasgow, and in 2011 she was appointed Scotland’s Makar, succeeding Edwin Morgan. Liz Lochhead was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (2015). Liz is proud to be Honorary President of the Scottish Poetry Library.

jake arnott

First event:  Jake Arnott– Monday 26th September at 1 p.m.

University Chapel, University of Glasgow G12

Jake Arnott is the author of six novels including the bestselling and critically acclaimed The Long Firm that was adapted as an award-winning BBC2 drama serial.
His latest novel is:
The House of Rumour

Bernard MacLaverty, Creative Conversations, 1 February – review Pat Byrne

Creative Conversations – 8 February– 21 March, 2016.

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. Books by featured authors will be for sale in John Smiths bookshop.

Creative Conversations is organised by the Creative Writing programme. The series is 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.

Monday 15th February – Reading Week

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.

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

robertson, jamesJames 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.

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

jenni faganJenni 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.

Bernard MacLaverty

Monday 1 February, 1pm, Glasgow University Chapel.


Bernard MacLaverty has published four novels and five collections of short stories most of which are gathered into Collected Stories (2013). Northern Ireland, Scotland and themes such as Catholicism, guilt and tension, inform his novels and short stories. He is also the author of two books for children and has written several screenplays and libretti for opera.

McLaverty’s publications include Collected Stories (2013) Matters of Life & Death (2006) Grace Notes (1997) Cal (1983) Lamb (1980) His many awards include The Lord Provost of Glasgow’s Award for Literature (2004) BAFTA Scotland (2003) BAFTA (2002) Creative Scotland Award (2001) Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award (1997) Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlisted 1997)

Bernard MacLaverty – Glasgow Writer

Link to University Creative Conversations Webpage

Bernard MacLaverty Creative Conversations –Review by Pat Byrne

Since this event, Bernard MacLaverty’s book ‘Midwinter Break’ has been launched to rave reviews. Brilliant.

Despite Glasgow being battered by storm Henry a good crowd turned up at the University Chapel for Bernard MacLaverty at Creative Conversations. It was worth it to hear his short story ‘The Clinic’, where an elderly man is being tested for Glucose Tolerance at a Diabetic Clinic.

The story’s imagery is vivid and the voice of the character clear as we share his anxieties and  sense of the absurd.  The man’s concern with retaining some dignity and his self-awareness draw you into  a story where there is no major excitement or drama – instead it grips with fascinating detail. We are absorbed by the man’s thoughts about other patients, the staff  and  his concern about not making jokes that the nurses will have heard time after time.  We are  the world of the clinic with its the repetitive routine, where at thirty minute intervals he is required to provide bodily fluids, urine and blood,  for testing.   The story captures the atmosphere of ‘The Clinic’, where small considerations gain importance, such as, the consideration  of small decisions about whether to have one finger pricked four times or four fingers pricked once. MacLaverty conveys  the patient’s feelings with economy and ease as he conveys how the Chekov story, ‘The Beauties’, which the man has brought to read, cushions him from the atmosphere of his temporary clinical world.  ‘The Clinic’ was a good choice by MacLaverty – it’s an absorbing  story with great tellability.

Louise Welsh hosted the event and it was intriguing to hear her describe her first meeting with Bernard MacLaverty, when he frequented the book shop she ran in Glasgow’s West End.  Since then both authors have gone on to achieve considerable success and have producing work in various forms.

MacLaverty was asked by a member of the audience whether he was considering a film and he spoke about ‘Lamb’ and ‘Cal’, two of his books which have been filmed. He explained the difficulties and  expense involved in film making and referred to his short film ‘Bye-Child’.  Louise Welsh reminded the audience that this work had gained a Bafta.

Even though MacLaverty managed to fit in another short reading of some flash fiction, there was  a sense that the audience was left wanting more.

A super lunchtime event in an amazing venue.  I look forward to seeing Kerry Hudson next week. I had a great day out, bumped into some good friends (Ciara, Gillean and Mick) and on my way home I even managed to pick up Hudson’s book ‘Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma’.

Pat Byrne, 1 February, 2016.

Strathclyde University Jazz Orchestra at Cottiers
A Passion for Paisley Talk and Exhibition

This section: Books, Talks, Poetry and Creative Writing Events, What's On Glasgow West End: cinema, clubs, theatre, music, events, festivals, community and more, Zoom and online events

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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