John Burnside was born in Dunfermline in 1955 and studied English and European Thought at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. He worked as a steel miller, gardener, labourer, dishwasher and then, for ten years, a computer software engineer, before becoming a freelance writer in 1994. Between 1995 and 1997 he was the Scottish Arts Council Writer in Residence at Dundee University. Since 1999 he has taught Creative Writing at St Andrews University. Photograph © Niall McDiarmid
About writer's work
John Burnside's first collection of poetry was published in 1988 and won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. A later collection, Feast Days, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and The Asylum Dance was awarded the Whitbread Poetry Award and shortlisted for both the Forward Poetry Collection of the Year and the T. S. Eliot Prize. Since 1996 he has also written prose works, including novels, short stories and a memoir, A Lie About My Father, which was awarded the Saltire Book of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Non-Fiction Book of the Year awards for 2006. His last novel, The Devil’s Footprints, has been published around the world. Having returned recently to the short story as a form, he has been publishing short fiction in several publications internationally, including The New Yorker magazine.