Aberdeen writer’s words to bring in the New Year

Aberdeen writer’s words to bring in the New Year

The words of an Aberdeen writer will help to bring in the New Year at Edinburgh’s famous Hogmanay celebrations.

The University of Aberdeen’s Professor Alan Spence is among the top Scottish writers selected for a new literary twist on events to mark the arrival of 2011.

Professor Spence, founder of Aberdeen’s popular Word festival, is one of ten well-known Scottish poets and writers, including AL Kennedy, Jackie Kay and Don Paterson, John Burnside, Janice Galloway, Ron Butlin, Kathleen Jamie, Robert Crawford, and Andrew Greig,commissioned to write haiku to capture the "fleeting moment in time".

Their commissions, each of three lines, will be read out on New Year’s Day during a day-long writers' festival next to the national galleries of Scotland on the Mound, which has been renamed Resolution Square for the day. The ten haikus will also be projected on to large screens.

A professor in creative writing at the University of Aberdeen, hispoetry includes two books of haiku: Seasons of the Heart (2000); and Clear Light (2005). A further collection, Glasgow Zen was first published in 1981, and an expanded edition republished in 2002.

 His short story collections are Its Colours They Are Fine (1977) and Stone Garden (1995), which won him the 1995 Scottish Writer of the Year Award.

 In 1990, Alan Spence published his first novel, The Magic Flute, and this has been followed by two further novels: Way to Go (1998), and The Pure Land (2006), based on the life of Thomas Glover.

His published plays are Sailmaker (1983), Space Invaders (1983), Changed Days (1991), and The 3 Estaites (2002).

His latest book is Morning Glory, with illustrations by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder.

Professor Spence said: “I've been writing haiku for more than 40 years now, and it's good to see it become a genuinely popular form of poetry.

“I'm delighted to be one of the writers asked to contribute to this project, and it'll be lovely to see the poems up on the big screens at New Year, reaching a really wide audience and putting poetry at the heart of the celebrations.”

For full details of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations visit edinburghshogmanay.com