Douglas Dunn at 70

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Douglas Dunn at StAnza 2011 (photo by Al Buntin)

An extensive catalogue of the drafts, manuscripts and letters of leading Scottish poet and StAnza’s Patron, Douglas Dunn, will be freely accessible online for the first time from tomorrow, improving access to the poet’s hand-written workings for fans, writers and scholars alike. The University of St Andrews will launch the Douglas Dunn collection catalogue to celebrate the 70th birthday of one of the UK’s best-loved poets - mentored by Philip Larkin, described by Mervyn Bragg as “among the finest of our poets”, and awarded an OBE for his services to literature.

To mark this occasion the University, where Dunn taught English from 1989 to 2008, has invited Dunn to deliver its prestigious 'Friends of the Library' lecture on the subject of 'The Writer in the Library', Thursday, 17.15 hours, in the University of St Andrews’ Arts Lecture Theatre. This lecture is free and open to all.

In the new digital age, the Dunn archive is of near-unique historical importance, in that it may well turn out to be one of the last paper archives to span the entire working life of a significant British writer acquired by a University Library. It reveals an intimate portrait of the writer's false starts, hesitant jotting of rough ideas, brutal crossing-outs, and gradual re-drafting of some of the most tender and moving love poems of the second half of the twentieth century.