All those who have had their work published in Dundee Writes are listed below, alongside their biography (as it appeared upon publication), the title of their contribution(s), and the issue(s) in which you can find them.
Erika Anderson first came to Dundee for an undergraduate exchange. She returned for the Mlitt programme, and is enjoying playing with experimental fiction. Her land-locked roots mean she particularly likes writing about all things aquatic. Her poem ‘zucchini as a metaphor for loneliness’ is about self-alienation (or vegetables – however you’d prefer to look at it). She hopes you like it. ‘zucchini as a metaphor for loneliness’ appears in Issue 2.
Josephine Jules Andrews was born in Dundee, trained in Anthropology and Ecology at the University of London and Washington University in St. Louis, and lived in Madagascar for ten years where she founded and ran an award-winning lemur conservation project. She is currently finishing the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. An extract from her memoir won her second place in the Dragons’ Pen at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2010. ‘Out of Africa’ is an extract from her current memoir project and appears in Issue 1.
Iain Arnott, from Midlothian (not Edinburgh), completed his English and History degree at the University of Dundee last year and stayed to join the Creative Writing programme and study for the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study. NOw he’s trying to write a novel. When he is not writing he warms a seat in a call centre and leaves work in a daze. ‘Along Comes Mary’ appears in Issue 2.
Fran Baillie is a Dundonian currently studying for a MLitt in Writing Practice and Study. She graduated from the University of Dundee in 1998 and taught for 12 years at Dundee College in the Special Programmes Department, the experience of a lifetime! She dipped a toe in the water when she attended Jim Stewart’s inspiring poetry evening class in Continuing Education just before retirement and was hooked. Her poem ‘Lest We Forget’ may resonate with Dundonians whose experience of education included tutoring by The Sisters. It appears in Issue 3.
Jane Baston is originally from Oxfordshire and has taught English in Lebanon, India and the USA as well as the UK. She currently teaches in the Academic Achievement Teaching Unit, University of Dundee. She has published on seventeenth and nineteenth century literature and is now keen to develop her writing through memoir and poetry. ‘Outing’ appears in Issue 3.
Jessma Carter is a member of Esther Read’s ‘Continuing as a Writer’ class. She completed an OU course in Creative Writing and has had a few short stories published. ‘Windows’ is her first published poem, written as she strolled around Nice in warm winter sunshine. Jessma lives in rural Fife and enjoys walking on beaches and by the River Tay. She has taught, run a B&B, sold plants at farmers’ markets and written non-fiction for magazines. She has two sons and a daughter, six grandchildren and a husband who makes her laugh and finds her specs. ‘Windows’ appears in Issue 4.
Fiona Cartmell is currently studying for a MLitt in the Creative Writing programme at the University of Dundee. Her first degree, from Aberdeen University, was in Law. She has worked for a number of years now as a therapist with patients with mental health issues, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, at a hospital in Edinburgh. She is also a musician. And soon to be a grandmother! ‘Sports Day 1960’ appears in Issue 3.
Fiona Duncan, having studied at the University of Dundee and spent thirty-five years teaching English in the city, retired last year to do what she loves – reading, writing, cooking, knitting and spending time with family and friends. This piece was inspired by Esther Read’s writing class in the Department of Continuing Education and by the language of gems – garnes symbolise faith and compassion, courage and truth. ‘The Necklace’ appears in Issue 2.
Xander Duffy is a first year student at the University of Dundee studying English. As a singer, he has always written in some capacity for his songs but he has also written numerous short stories and poems for children and adults. You can listen to his music at http://www.myspace.com/xanderduffy. ‘Sonnet to the Storm’ appears in Issue 2.
John Eagles was a psychiatrist in Aberdeen for nearly thirty years. He contributed many medical publications, but only since retirement and joining the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee has he begun to write creatively. He is currently trying to complete a novel about psychiatric practice. ‘The Way We Were’ appears in Issue 5.
Derek Elliott is 22 years old. He grew up in Glasgow and studied Immunology at Glasgow University. He has just moved to Dundee to start a degree in Medicine. ‘Please Be Gentle with John’ appears in Issue 1.
Hazel Ellis-Saxon took a degree in Social Work before completing the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study in November 2011. Much of her work is memoir, and she is currently completing a book on her experiences of being the mother of a young child with anorexia. She is now working with Angus and Fife social work departments and a number of independent and charitable organisations, running therapeutic creative writing workshops. ‘One Like David’ appears in Issue 3.
Annika Firmenich is a marine biology graduate who has just decided to live her life writing about the world rather than measuring it. She is studying for the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee and is enjoying it tremendously. ‘Drowning Outside Water’ appears in Issue 1.
Pat Fox (1930-2011) started writing when she retired. She received a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2004 and was runner-up in the first Scottish Galleries Competition in 2006. In recent years she joined the University of Dundee’s Continuing Education classes ‘Continuing as a Writer’ and ‘Making a Poem’. ‘Slow Death’ appears in Issue 2. ‘Chair’ appears in Issue 1.
Hollie Gibson is a twenty-year-old Dundonian in her third year at the University of Dundee, studying English and Creative Writing. She is delighted that ‘Petrol Spill on Water’ has been selected for Dundee Writes as this will be her first piece of work to be published. It appears in Issue 3.
Alison Grant is an aspiring poet who also practices as a landscape architect. She is currently undertaking the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. ‘Counting Butterflies’ appears in Issue 3. ‘Postcard’ appears in Issue 5.
Derik Hammond is a retired teacher currently enrolled on Esther Read’s ‘Continuing as a Writer’ class at the University of Dundee. His ghost-written memoir of a World War Two veteran has recently been accepted by Helion for publication sometime next year. In ‘Treacherous Beach’ he explores the interplay between the forces of fate and human nature. It appears in Issue 4.
Megan Heather was born in London and has lived in Dundee for four decades. She has always loved to write but tends to be lazy and easily distracted. Thanks to Esther Read’s gentle bullying, enthusiasm, and commitment, she is trying to apply herself with the help of friends and fellow scribblers in Esther’s Continuing Education class. ”The Tortoise’ appears in Issue 5.
Sandra Ireland is a third-year undergraduate at the University of Dundee, studying English and Creative Writing. She has had two poems published to date, but sees herself more as a fiction writer. This is the first of her short stories to appear in print, although her work has been read out at the Byre Theatre and at the Pitlochry Winter Words Festival. ‘One for the Road’ appears in Issue 3.
Andy Jackson is Medical Librarian at Ninewells Hospital. His first poetry collection, The Assassination Museum, was published by Red Squirrel in 2010. He edited Split Screen, an anthology of poetry inspired by movies & TV published in 2012, and is co-editor of Whaleback City, a forthcoming historical anthology of poetry about the city of Dundee. ‘Market Forces Sweetheart’ appears in Issue 3. ‘Drawing Circles’ appears in Issue 5.
Rachel Emma Jenkins recently graduated from the University of Dundee and is soon to embark on a life in the “real world”. ‘Cracks in the Pavement’ was inspired by the not-so-distant memories of teenage life and a guitar named Janet. Rachel is currently hiding in the Welsh hills making Blackberry wine, but will shortly be making her glorious return to the city of Dundee. ‘Cracks in the Pavement’ appears in Issue 4.
Xinyi Jiang was born in China and is studying towards the MLitt Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. Sakura is the Japanese term for cherry blossom trees, which abound in her hometown of Quingdao. In South-East Asian culture, they symbolise the ephemeral nature of life. ‘Sakura’ appears in Issue 5.
Oliver Langmead is a student at the University of Dundee, about to graduate with a degree in English Law. ‘Driftwood’ is a short story explaining part of his last book, called Of Shining and Glittering Things, which is as yet unpublished. He is currently working on a new book as well as his webcomic at http://www.barracudasmile.com. ‘Driftwood’ appears in Issue 2.
Lindsay Macgregor is studying for the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. She lives near Cupar and has poems published in New Writing Scotland, Northwords Now and Gutter. Her poem ‘Plague Doctor’ was inspired by a painting of a bird-mask for a Venetian ball seen in a Perthshire tea-room and by the plague doctors who visited the sick and dying who’d contracted the disease from fleas. It appears in Issue 3.
Claire MacLeary was born in Glasgow and worked in H.R. in London and Edinburgh before becoming a freelance training consultant. Following a spell as an antiques dealer, she set up her own retail and property business and has just completed an MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of Dundee. ‘The Collector’ appears in Issue 2.
Keren A. Macpherson is in her final year of the MLitt Writing Practice and Study course at the University of Dundee. She previously studied at Edinburgh College of Art and went on to teach Fine Art and History of Art in Princeton, NJ, and Boulder, CO. Keren lives in Drumeldrie, Fife, and has two young girls, Mhairi and Niamhi. She does most of her poetry thinking while cycling and running. ‘Pearl’ is a poem about healing and discovery and appears in Issue 4.
Roderick Manson started writing poetry in 2007 at Esther Read’s inspirational evening classes. He has since spent more and more time writing increasing numbers of ever more sparse poems. This one shares a title with Professor Moriarty’s notorious paper which led to his expulsion from the Royal Society. Romantic! ‘The Dynamics of an Asteroid’ appears in Issue 1.
Hamish McBride is a retired G.P. from Aberfeldy. He is a member of Esther Read’s writing group at the University of Dundee. He is an active man, with a recent, somewhat surprising interest in Tai Chi. One favoured activity is a regular dog walk with his wife; often stories assemble themselves in his mind while doing this. In ‘Meditation’, which appears in Issue 5, Pui Chai refers to a village in Vietnam, d’an dayen to the lower abdomen/the site of central balance.
Bet McCallum is a member of Esther Read’s course ‘Becoming a Writer’ and lives in Broughty Ferry and London. She has co-auhtored three books on primary education and published widely in academic journals. Recently, her short stories have appeared in New Writing Dundee and Gutter. ‘Right From Wrong’ is based on a real incident and appears in Issue 5.
Beth McDonough studied Silversmithing and Jewellery at Glasgow School of Art, and has loved Dr Stewart’s evening poetry classes at the University of Dundee. Taking a very deep breath, she is leaving teaching to embark on the MLitt in Creative Writing. She suspects that the creative draw of both poetry and silversmithing are not truly different. ‘Bulb Haiku’ appears in Issue 2.
Roddie McKenzie, from Glasgow, travelled for 25 years as a biochemical researcher. Now he works as a counsellor in Dundee and as a science lecturer at Adam Smith College, Glenrothes, and St Andrews University. He is a member of Esther Read`s ‘Continuing as a Writer’ class in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Dundee and has contributed to the Nethergate Writers publications since 2006. ‘On the Bridge’ appears in Issue 4.
Kathy Patton McLemore was born in the US, but for the past ten years has lived in Dundee. She holds a BA English (cum laude) from Ursuline College in Ohio, and is a fervent believer in education, having worked with Dundee University’s Alumni Department as a former member of the Scottish Alumni Officer’s Network. Her poems have been published in the US and the UK. ‘when the multis came down’ appears in Issue 3.
John Mooney is a retired Further Education lecturer, married with a grown up family and six great grandchildren, so has plenty time for scribbling. He is a member of Esther Read’s “Continuing as a Writer” group in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Dundee. His hobbies include cycling, golf (without rules) and walking. Inspiration comes from long cycle runs. ‘The Amazing Deductive Powers of Mr Sherbrook Combes’ appears in Issue 3.
Kevin Moore currently resides in Blackpool and is in the process of completing PhD research in the Department of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Dundee. ‘Howard the Tap-Dancing Spider’ was inspired by the offhand comment of a friend – “He’ll never dance again” – after accidently standing on a spider. It appears in Issue 4.
Ann Prescott is a member of Esther Read’s “Continuing as a Writer” class, which is run by the University of Dundee’s Department of Continuing Education. She has contributed to each of the class’s annual publications of short stories. She lives with two feline companions and maintains a keen interest in environmental issues. ‘Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle Applied to a Burmese Kitten’ appears in Issue 1. ‘Prometheus’ appears in Issue 4.
Jane Prior joined Scotland’s East coast creative community in ’93 and under its influence has grown as a writer. Since completing an MA in English and Film Studies in 2010, she is refining her first novel and researching hypertext fiction with a view to plotting her next. ‘On Not Telling the Truth’ appears in Issue 2. ‘A Candle Lit’ appears in Issue 5.
Nikki Robson was born in Northern Ireland and lives in Angus with her husband and three children. She graduated in Business Studies and worked as a copywriter and in events management, taking a career break to send time with her children. She has now returned to higher education and is undertaking the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. ‘White Island’ appears in Issue 2.
Thomas John Samson took the Creative Writing postgraduate module in the Department of Humanities, University of Dundee. He is currently an English lecturer at Dundee College but, when his disguise slips, he is an evil writer intent on influencing readers in unspeakable ways. He opes to go global. Beware. An extract from “And I’m a Camera Too” appears in Issue 1.
Daniel Shand is 21 and from Kirkcaldy. Overly indulged by Dundee University, 2011 sees him graduate in English and have work published in New Writing Dundee and in a forthcoming book, In Memoriam. Having been accepted onto the MSc in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh he is currently seeking funding and/or a job please. ‘A Testament’ appears in Issue 2.
Skendha Singh is studying for the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. ‘Submarine’ is a poem that traces the conscious experience of the beauty of illusion and appears in Issue 5.
Aldona Steponaviciute is a psychologist by education and a writer by vocation. For more than 10 years she has been writing for children’s and adults’ magazines in Lithuania. In Spetember 2010 she started the MLitt Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee in order to pursue her aim the write fiction. ‘The Kilt Shop’ appears in Issue 2.
Ross Stewart was born and raised in Fife, Scotland. He gained an MA in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh in 2009 and, after a brief flirtation with teaching, is now studying towards the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. ‘The New Kind of Quiet’ was his response to a workshop writing exercise and appears in Issue 3.
Andrew Symon is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Dundee. Born in Athens to Scottish parents, he moved first to Tokyo, then London. His first job as a Labour Ward porter led to a midwifery career, including one year in Kenya, where he met his wife. He is a Street Pastor and unofficial padre in the Tartan Army. The Shian Quest trilogy is his children’s fiction debut. www.shianquest.com. The Prologue to Jack Shian and the King’s Chalice appears in Issue 5.
Gladys Taylor lives in Cupar with husband Tommy and her guide dog Vicki. She completed ‘Becoming a Writer’ at the University of Dundee’s Continuing Education department and now aims to join ‘Continuing as a Writer’. She completes her Open University B.A. in June. Gladys enjoys life writing, prose, and poetry. ‘From My Balcony’, her petrarchan sonnet from a trio of poems, concerns impressions of a Paris holiday and appears in Issue 5.
Helen Taylor is attending the ‘Continuing as a Writer’ evening class at Dundee University. She moved with her husband to Dundee eighteen years ago where they raised their three daughters. She has a doctorate in Archaeology and the past is important to her writing. She usually writes prose, but sometimes a poem writes itself. ‘The Graveyard Heart’ appears in Issue 5.
Edward Thompson taught History of Economic Thought (‘wrong ideas of dead men’), administered American Studies, and researched early modern utopianism at Dundee University. His most recent publication is ‘Microcosm, Macrocosm and ‘Practical Science’’ in Utopian Moments (Bloomsbury, 2012). Since retiring, he has worked on the Dictionary of the Scots Language and joined Esther Read’s writing class in Continuing Education. ‘Deceivers Ever’ owes a lot to John James, Tom Holt, and above all Avram Davidson, and appears in Issue 4.
Jacqueline Thompson was born in Arbroath and has just completed the MLitt in Creative Writing at Dundee University. She has had her work in Gutter, New Writing Dundee, For A’ That, The Scotsman (as ‘Poem of the Month’) and recently performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. ‘Carnegie House’ appears in Issue 1.
Doug Thomson is an engineering PhD student at the University of Dundee. He is a son of the Angus soil with a career as a civil engineer largely behind him. He is looking forward to trying the ‘Becoming a Writer’ Continuing Education evening classes this term. The musings in the piece are based on his own. ‘Wullie the Learie’ appears in Issue 4.
Carole Tricker is studying for the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. Most of her writing to date has been for the stage, starting when she ran the original Byre Youth Theatre. She has had one short and two full-length plays published. ‘The Burn’ is her first serious foray into prose and appears in Issue 4.
Zoe Venditozzi is currently studying for an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study. This extract is from her second novel, “Anywhere’s Better Than Here”, which was longlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize. Having recently made herself redundant, she now plans to devote more time to sleeping, reading and writing. The extract from “Anywhere’s Better Than Here” appears in Issue 1.
After emergind alive from St Andrews University with a degree in English, Catriona Ward Sell fought off the perilous temptations of a permanent contract in the Civil Service to battle her way through an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. Should she emerge victorious, she hopes to continue to scribble poetry on receipts, cornflake packets, and applications for ‘proper jobs’. You can follow her progress at www.afterpage.wordpress.com. ‘Driven’ appears in Issue 5.
Stuart Wardrop is married with a grown up family. A retired social worker and TA officer, he is a member of Esther Read’s ‘Continuing as a Writer’ group in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Dundee and President of Perthshire Writers. In the search for inspiration he walks for miles muttering to himself and causing much consternation to Midge the Border terrier. ‘Home from Home’ appears in Issue 5.
Brian Wayne is a graduate of the University of Dundee because, after all other efforts failed, the only way to get him to leave was to offer him a degree. He has since returned to undertake the MLitt in Writing Practice and Study and hopes the same tactics will be employed again. Additionally, despite the Scottish Nanny Party, he is working on ways to continue to purchase the cheapest drinkable red wine. He also writes music. ‘Hoover’ appears in Issue 4.
Cathy Whitfield is a member of Esther Read’s ‘Continuing as a Writer’ group in the Department of Continuing Education. She has had a number of stories and a poetry collection published and is currently working on a novel set in dark-age Scotland. ‘The Skies of Kansas’ was a response to a class exercise and appears in Issue 5.
Catherine Young attends writing evening classes in the Continuing Education Department at the University of Dundee. ‘Window Shopping’ was written for Jim Stewart’s poetry class as part of an exercise exploring form. She is currently on the ‘Continuing as a Writer’ course. ‘Window Shopping’ appears in Issue 4.