Author details

Dorothy Alexander


*Please note, Dorothy is currently unavailable for Live Literature events*

Married with two children, I have lived and worked all my life in the Scottish Borders. I recently completed an MLitt followed by a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow having previously worked in the NHS for over twenty years. I have done readings in various settings including Edinburgh and Glasgow Book Festivals. I have also given conference papers on experimental poetics.

About writer's work

I work in both prose and poetry. My work usually involves some kind of interaction between the two. For my PhD I wrote a prosimetrum (a rhythmic sequence of prose fiction and poetic texts), titled ‘Cage’, in which experimental poetics were used to intuit and disclose the disease processes associated with dementia. Sections of Cage’ are written in Borders Scots. I won the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Award in 2002. I am currently working on a project titled ‘The Border Ballad into the Twenty first Century: applying experimental poetics to contemporary narratives in Borders Scots’. The early work for this was done during a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. I am also working on a novel that retells the story of the Mauricewood Pit Disaster through the eyes of a young girl whose father is killed there, and writing a series of poems with an ecological theme (titled Final Warning) that take forward variations of found poetry that I developed for ‘Cage’.

Current events and projects

I am available to do readings and workshops on creativity and the creative process, fiction and poetry (from getting started to getting published), writing in Scots, found poetry, and how to survive as a writers group.

Other work

• Zeus (inscription for sculpture) by Dick MacTaggart, N.S.MacFarlane Charitable Award for best first exhibit at the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Art’s 140th Annual Exhibition, 2001. Themes: sculpture, inscription, Zeus
• 'Organdie', (poem), Alison Allison, 2001
• 'The limits of morality', (poem) painted, spoken, 2001
• 'Crow', (poem), Alison Allison, 2002
• 'A Diurnal Upon St. Lucy’s Day' (Variations done for Tom Leonard), (poem), Alison Allison, 2003
• 'Mask', (short story), Southern Reporter, 2002
• 'How She Came to Write a Poem Called Apostrophe' (short story) in Macallan Shorts, Polygon, 2002, 0-7486-6329-0 Themes: short stories, writing competition, mourning
• 'Dr. Fenton Dozes in a Shaft of Sunlight That Dusts its Parallels Down From a High Window' in North (anthology of inaugural Scotsman/Orange Award), Polygon, 2004, 1-904598-10-2 Themes: short stories, writing competition, dementia
• Sensing the ratio of grief to joy in not being alone (poem) in The Knuckle End (Anthology of writing from University of Glasgow’s Creative Writing course), Freight, 2004, 0954402421. Themes: creative writing course, experimental poetry, relationships
• 'Life is Swee't (short story) in Tweed Rivers, Pocketbook/Luath Press, 2005, 1-905222-25-4. Themes: River Tweed, fishing, childhood
• 'my daughter will go' and 'Downriver' (Tweed Poems) in Both Sides of Hadrian’s Wall, Selkirk Lapwing Press, 2006, 0-995405603-7. Themes: cross border writing, River Tweed, motherhood
• 'Joan is sitting very still', (poem) Wigtown Poetry Competition Anthology, 2006, 1-899316-43-4. Themes: dementia, Borders Scots, relationship to God
• 'How She Came to Write a Poem Called Apostrophe', (short story), Written Remedies, Luath, 2007, 1-905222-98-X Themes: short stories, illness, medicine
• 'Mined', (poems), Lighthouse, Glasgow, 2007, 1-905061-13-7. Themes: architecture, mining, shale bings
• 'We have ignition' (poem), Product 13, Winter 07/08, 1468-9901
• 'Ashamed', (poem) in Product 14, Summer, 2008, 1468-9901
• 'Americities', (poem) in Product 15, Winter 2008-2009, 1468-9901
• ‘ugh, oOps and EXIT:EXTINCT’ (poems) in HOW2, online writing journal for women, feature on ecopoetics
• Excerpts from ‘Cage’ in Black Box Manifold (contributing editor)
• ‘the great man’, monologue in Scots in Border Voices: An Anthology from Borders Writers’ Forum, December 2008 (ISBN awaited). Themes: poetry and prose, Borders Scots, humour


Local authority where they are based

Scottish Borders

Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups

Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type

Poet, Writer