Lessons from the School of Night
Nowadays if I sit down before a blank page, nothing happens
— Douglas Dunn
Sean Robinson met with Douglas Dunn at St. Andrews’ School of English in the spring, while Dunn was promoting a collection of short stories, The Bagpiping People (Turnpike, 2017). They spoke candidly about the experience of growing old as a writer; discussed teaching and playwriting as ways for a poet to earn a living; and reminisced about the offence caused by his first book, Terry Street, and Phillip Larkin’s role in getting it published.
Dunn reads two poems from his new collection, The Noise of a Fly (Faber, 2017): ‘The Teacher’s Notes’ at 10m02s, and ‘Thursday’ at 24m10s.
Apologies for poor sound quality at points.
Note: We are currently moving our files from Soundcloud to another system. Please bear with us – the ‘Lessons from the School of Night’ will be back soon!
Lessons from the School of Night are an irregular series of video or audio interviews and tips from poets and writers who visit St Andrews.
The School of Night – inspired by the group which included Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh – is Topping & Company Booksellers’ Year-Round Poetry Festival in St Andrews. Curated with the help of Don Paterson and playing host to poets as varied as Paul Muldoon and Lorraine Mariner, Simon Armitage and Annie Freud, it is anchored to a regular fixture on the last Tuesday of the month. The School of Night offers the chance to explore and discuss the work of some of the best poets on the contemporary scene. For more details on these and other events, please visit the Topping & Company website.