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Award-winning author to teach Creative Writing at Aberdeen

Internationally acclaimed Ulster writer, Bernard MacLaverty, is returning to the University of Aberdeen to take up a teaching post in Creative Writing.

As one of the UK’s finest writers, Bernard has clocked up a vast array of prestigious awards throughout his career for his best-selling novels including Grace Notes (1997) The Anatomy School (2001), and Matters of Life and Death (2006).

He has also produced award-winning screen plays of his novels Lamb (1980) and Cal (1984) and has written an number of successful television and radio plays. He is also the author of Secrets & Other Stories (1977), A Time to Dance & Other Stories (1982), The Great Profundo & Other Stories (1987), and Walking the Dog & Other Stories (1994).

The RIISS MLitt class on Creative Writing will focus on Prose this semester and on Poetry next term. While Bernard will be teaching the Prose section, the Poetry component will be conducted by popular North-east writer and storyteller Sheena Blackhall and Michael Gardiner, whose short-story collection Escalator was recently published by Polygon.

Professor Cairns Craig, Director of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen, said: ‘It is very appropriate that in a programme of Irish and Scottish Studies we should have a writer who has engaged so thoroughly with both cultures.

“Bernard brings a wealth of experience in the writing of short stories, novels and film scripts to his teaching and our students will benefit enormously from his presence. His appointment adds to the University’s already considerable strengths in creative writing and prepares the way for the launch of our new postgraduate programme in creative writing in September 2007.”

To mark his return to Aberdeen, Bernard will take to the stage for a reading from some of his work on Tuesday (October 31). This highly-anticipated event will be held in Humanity Manse Seminar Room at 5.15pm to which all are welcome to attend.

Bernard was previously Writer-in-Residence at the University of Aberdeen for two years in the mid 1980s, and has been Guest Writer at the University of Augsburg and at Iowa State University.

He was one of the main highlights on the line-up for the first ever Word – the University of Aberdeen Writers Festival - when it launched in 1999. The first Word was a celebration of the strength and variety of writing in Scotland and the biggest literary event ever held in Aberdeen. This year Word celebrated its 5th anniversary and with five successful festivals already under its belt it goes from strength to strength continuing to embrace many of the key aims of the University of Aberdeen, placing the University at the centre of the cultural life of the city and providing a high-quality experience for the local community and far beyond.

Further information on the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies (RIISS) is available by logging on to:

Further information on Word – the University of Aberdeen Writers Festival is available by visiting:


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Friday 27th of October 2006

Ref: 2093Bernard MacLaverty

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