University events at the Aye Write Festival

Published: 21 January 2010

An active supporter of the Aye Write! book festival, the University is directly involved in four events in this year’s busy programme.

An active supporter of the Aye Write! book festival, the University is directly involved in four events in this year’s busy programme.   

Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature and Michael Schmidt, Professor of Poetry and Convener of the Creative Writing Programme at the University will be reading and discussing their work at a poetry event from 7.30-8.30pm on Tuesday 9 March.

Alan Riach's Homecoming: New Poems 2001-2009, has been described as “putting Scotland in touch with the wider world,  finding common humanity at home and abroad. Riach observes life with a poignancy, clarity and sometimes a hard edge that has earned him the reputation as one of the finest poets of his generation.”

Michael Schmidt’s Collected Poems was called by John Ashbery 'Vibrant, radiant... steeped in modernist tradition (Yeats and Eliot) and questingly new... a passionate discourse that is at once earthy and numinous'.

Eleanor Gordon, Professor of Gender and Social History at the University of Glasgow and co-author Gwyneth Nair will speak about their book  Murder and Morality in Victorian Britain: The Story of Madeleine Smith at 6.30-7.30pm on Sunday 7 March.

The notorious Glasgow trial of Madeleine Smith took place  in 1857, when she was accused of poisoning her secret lover. In an illustrated presentation, the story of Smith's life and trial is explored. Containing new discoveries about Madeleine's long and colourful life after the trial - which confirms the view that it is only in fiction that the bad end unhappily -  as well as looking at the extent of women's social and commercial activities in the world of the mid-Victorian middle class, this event is accompanied by a display of Mitchell archive material on the Smith affair.

In honour of the 15th anniversary of the prestigious Creative Writing Programme at the University, two Creative Writing student events will be taking place at the festival:

The first University of Glasgow Creative Writing Showcase – 7.30-8.30pm on Thursday 11 March - features writing by students currently completing the MLitt course. Eight writers of prose and poetry will read from their work.

And the second University of Glasgow Creative Writing Showcase - 6.30-7.30pm Saturday 13 March - includes readings from writers currently working on the PhD programme and distinguished published alumni. The event culminates in the presentation of the annual Sceptre Prize to the outstanding student from the previous year.

Based at the Mitchell Library, Aye Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival runs from 5 – 13 March 2010 and brings a stellar line-up of authors to the city. The festival, which is in its fifth year, features local talent alongside national and international authors for a celebration of books, poetry and family events, community projects, debates and an extensive schools programme.

Full details of the programme and tickets are available at:

First published: 21 January 2010

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