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Alan Riach

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Contact: alan.riach@glasgow.ac.uk
Local authority: Glasgow City
Languages: English, Scots
Alan Riach's headshot

Born in Lanarkshire; living in hope. Places, territories, engagements: Calderbank, near Airdrie, first; then school in Gravesend, Kent; Cambridge University to study literature; Glasgow University to study Scottish literature. Teaching at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, 1986-2000, and travelling internationally, over those years and since: America, Australia, China, India; Italy, France, Poland, Spain, Austria, Germany (1986, West and East Berlin); Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, England. And all parts of Scotland. The intake comes first. I’m one of those who used to read the back of the sauce bottle at dinner, the cornflakes packet at breakfast, who in childhood tried to stop looking at words and read what I could see around me – or could hear around me – learning to pick up information by reading without words. Birdsong. When tiredness comes, sleep, and let the non-conscious cognitive processes take over. That’s the intake. The output is the writing: poems, when they arrive, as they do even yet, unbidden, from somewhere deep. And prose: essays introducing writers, artists and composers to anyone who likes to read, look, listen. Critical work arising from research in the archives, and from reading (looking, listening) in new ways, from different angles, bringing unpredicted things together. Hopefully.

(Photo credit: Macarthur Cunningham)

(Works in Scots)

Local authorities can visit

Aberdeen City; Aberdeenshire; Angus; Argyll and Bute; Clackmannanshire; Dumfries and Galloway; Dundee; East Ayrshire; East Dunbartonshire; East Lothian; East Renfrewshire; Edinburgh City; Falkirk; Fife; Glasgow City; Highland; Inverclyde; Midlothian; Moray; Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles); North Ayrshire; North Lanarkshire; Orkney Islands; Perth and Kinross; Renfrewshire; Scottish Borders; Shetland; South Ayrshire; South Lanarkshire; Stirling; West Dunbartonshire; West Lothian

Events can deliver

Bilingual event; Panel event; Reading; Residency; Talk; Workshop; Professional development, CLPL or CPD; Chairing events

Audience can work with

Adult learners

Topics of work

Activism & protest; Adventure; Ageing; Biography & memoir; Class & society; Coasts, seas & oceans; Comedy, humour & funny books; Contemporary fiction; Crime fiction; Death, grief & bereavement; Discrimination & prejudice; Emigration & immigration; Environment & climate; Fairy tales, folklore & mythology; Family; Fantasy; Friendship; Gender equality; Health including mental health & wellbeing; Historical fiction; History; Human rights; Island communities; Loneliness & isolation; Love & romance; Music; Mystery & thriller; Nature; Picture books; Politics; Religion & beliefs; Science fiction; Seasonal books; Translation; Travel writing; Wars & conflicts; World War 1; World War 2

Age groups published for


Age groups can work with

6-8; 9-11; 12-14; 15-18; 18+

Audience size

0-10; 11-30; 31-100; 100-500; 500+