Douglas Dunn

(born October 1942 - ) - Inchinnan, Renfrewshire

Douglas Dunn

Professor Douglas Dunn was born in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire in 1942, and is a multi-award winning author and poet. He first studied at the Scottish School of Librarianship in Glasgow, as well as working at the Akron Public Library, Ohio. On returning to Britain, he was accepted into Hull University, and it was during this time he published his first book Terry Street in 1969, whilst under the mentoring of Philip Larkin. The book was set in the area of Hull in which he then lived, and was widely acclaimed, winning both a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and a Somerset Maugham Award.

Another award-winning title followed in 1974, when Love or Nothing was also awarded a Scottish Arts Council Book Award, and later went on to win the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1976.

He moved back to Scotland in 1981, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in the same year. Also in that year, he won the Hawthornden Prize for his book of poetry St. Kilda's Parliament. In 1985, his book Elegies (written after the death of his first wife in 1981) was named the Whitbread Book of the Year.

More recent publications have included New Selected Poems, 1964-2000 as well as the collections he has edited, The Faber Book of Scottish Poetry (2006) and The Oxford Book of Scottish Short Stories (2001).

In addition to these publications he is a regular contributor to several publications including The Times Literary Supplement, and has written many radio and television plays.

In 1991, he accepted a professorship at the University of St. Andrews' School of English, later becoming head of the school, and director of the Scottish Studies Institute. He is also credited with initiating the first creative writing course to have been taught at a Scottish university. He retires from his academic roles in 2008.

  • Cover scan of New Selected Poems, 1964-2000
    New Selected Poems, 1964-2000 - Hardback
    In a distinguished poetic career, Douglas Dunn has won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year. This selection draws on the entire range of Dunn's poetry.
  • Cover scan of Twentieth-Century Scottish Poetry
    The Faber Book Of Scottish Poetry - Paperback
    During the 1920s, Scottish poetry, personified by Hugh MacDiarmid, asserted its independence, denying the claim made by T.S. Eliot that all significant differences between Scottish and English literature had ceased to exist. It was an energetic 'No' to provincialism, and a vigorous 'Yes' to nationalism as an enabler of poetry.


  • Terry Street - 1969
  • Backwaters - 1971
  • Night - 1971
  • The Happier Life - 1972
  • Love Or Nothing - 1974
  • Barbarians - 1979
  • St Kilda's Parliament - 1981
  • Europa's Love - 1982
  • To Build a Bridge - 1982
  • Elegies - 1985
  • Secret Villages - 1985
  • Selected Poems - 1986
  • Going to Aberlemno - 1987
  • Under the Influence: Douglas Dunn on Philip Larkin - 1987
  • Northlight - 1988
  • Australian Dream-Essay - 1993
  • Dante's Drum Kit - 1993
  • Garden Hints - 1993
  • Boyfriends and Girlfriends - 1995
  • The Donkey's Ears - 2000
  • The Year's Afternoon - 2000
  • New Selected Poems, 1964-2000 - 2002
  • Essays - 2003

Biographies of Douglas Dunn

  • Cover scan of Douglas Dunn
    Douglas Dunn - David Kennedy - Paperback
    This critical study charts Douglas Dunn's career from his debut volume 'Terry Street' in 1969 to his 'New Selected Poems 1964-2000' in 2003. Kennedy argues that his poetry has developed through often high ambivalent relationships with form, culture and the public identity and role of the poet.