Major American literary innovator makes first visit to Glasgow

American novelist, story-writer, poet and essayist Harry Matthews will give a public reading and talk at the University of Glasgow on Tuesday 2 October. Mathews will present his work and discuss the amazing literary world through which he has moved. Now in his late 70s, this celebrated author is paying his first ever visit to Glasgow.

Friend of John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara and the New York School Matthews is also one of only two anglophone member of the famous OuLiPo (a radical French writers’ group dedicated to exploring new structures and techniques in language), headed by Georges Perec, author of Life: a user’s manual.

Author of many accessible and inventive novels, including Tlooth, The Conversions, The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium, Cigarettes, and My Life in CIA, Mathews develops his poems and fiction according to a set of strict rules – a method that is now known as the “Mathews’ algorithm”. He is also a notable translator from French. "Maybe writing is never anything else but translation — ultimately, a translation which cannot be identified", he stated in an interview.

This unprecedented free reading and discussion takes place in Seminar Rm 2, Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow from 5:30–7:30pm on 2 October. All are welcome.

The event is organised by The Creative Writing Programme of the School of English and Scottish Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow.

Notes to editors

For more information contact Kate Richardson in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3683 or email

First published: 1 October 2007

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