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Douglas Dunn

Professor Douglas Dunn was born in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire in 1942, and is a multi-award winning author and poet. He first studied at the Scottish School of Librarianship in Glasgow, as well as working at the Akron Public Library, Ohio. On returning to Britain, he was accepted into Hull University, and it was during this time he published his first book Terry Street in 1969, whilst under the mentoring of Philip Larkin. The book was set in the area of Hull in which he then lived, and was widely acclaimed, winning both a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and a Somerset Maugham Award.

Another award-winning title followed in 1974, when Love or Nothing was also awarded a Scottish Arts Council Book Award, and later went on to win the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1976.

He moved back to Scotland in 1981, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in the same year. Also in that year, he won the Hawthornden Prize for his book of poetry St. Kilda’s Parliament. In 1985, his book Elegies (written after the death of his first wife in 1981) was named the Whitbread Book of the Year.

More recent publications have included New Selected Poems, 1964-2000 as well as the collections he has edited, The Faber Book of Scottish Poetry (2006) and The Oxford Book of Scottish Short Stories (2001).

In addition to these publications he is a regular contributor to several publications including The Times Literary Supplement, and has written many radio and television plays.

In 1991, he accepted a professorship at the University of St. Andrews’ School of English, later becoming head of the school, and director of the Scottish Studies Institute. He is also credited with initiating the first creative writing course to have been taught at a Scottish university. He retires from his academic roles in 2008.

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