Alan Spence

Alan Spence

Alan Spence is an award-winning poet and playwright, novelist and short story writer. Awards include the McVitie Prize (Scottish Writer of the Year), Glasgow Herald People’s Prize, TMA Drama Award and Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award.

Books include Its Colours They Are Fine, The Pure Land, Night Boat, Morning Glory, and Glasgow Zen. His play Sailmaker is a set text in Scottish schools.

He is Professor Emeritus in Creative Writing at The University of Aberdeen, (where he founded the WORD Festival in 1999) and from 2017 to 2021 he was Edinburgh Makar (Poet Laureate to the City). In 2018 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun from the Government of Japan. With his wife he runs the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh.

He published two new poetry collections in 2022: Edinburgh Come All Ye, and thirteen ways of looking at tulips. A new novel, Mister Timeless Blyth, was published in March 2023 by Tuttle in the USA and Japan and has been long listed for the 2024 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction.