Prof. Alan Riach, Convener
Prof. Alan Riach was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1957, Alan Riach holds degrees from the Universities of Cambridge, where he studied English as an undergraduate, and Glasgow, where he completed his doctorate in the Department of Scottish Literature. He worked in New Zealand from 1986 to December 2000, where he was Associate Professor of English and a Pro-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Waikato, specialising in twentieth-century literature, teaching Scottish, Irish, American and post-colonial literatures, modern poetry and creative writing. His critical writing has appeared in numerous books and journals in Britain, New Zealand and internationally. He is the General Editor of the multi-volume Carcanet Press Collected Works of Hugh MacDiarmid, including the Selected Poems (New Directions, U.S.A., 1993; Penguin 20th Century Classics, 1994). He is the author of Hugh MacDiarmid’s Epic Poetry (Edinburgh University Press, 1991), The Poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid(Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1999) and the co-editor of The Radical Imagination: Lectures and Talks by Wilson Harris (1992), Scotlands: Poets and the Nation (2004),The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature (2009), Lion’s Milk: Turkish Poems by Scottish Poets (2012) and The Smeddum Test: 21st-century Poems in Scots (2013). He wrote and presented the New Zealand radio series Scotland’s Renaissance (1993), the ‘Literature’ sections of the 10-part Fearful Symmetries: The 20th Century in Retrospect (1999-2000), and the 4-part The Good of the Arts (2001). His poetry has been published in numerous journals internationally and is collected in This Folding Map (Auckland University Press / Oxford University Press, 1990), An Open Return(Untold Books, New Zealand, 1991), First and Last Songs (Auckland University Press / Chapman, Edinburgh, 1995), Clearances (Hazard Press, NZ / Scottish Cultural Press, 2001) and Homecoming (Luath Press, Edinburgh, 2009). He is the author of Representing Scotland in Literature, Popular Culture and Iconography: The Masks of the Modern Nation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and co-author of Arts of Resistance: Poets, Portaits and Landscapes of Modern Scotland (2008), described by the Times Literary Supplement as ‘a landmark’ and Arts of Independence: The Culture Argument and Why it Matters Most (2014). He has contributed to numerous volumes including An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (Oxford University Press, 1997), Dream State: The New Scottish Poets (1997), 121 New Zealand Poets (2005), Spirits of the Age: Scottish Self-Portraits (2005), The Wallace Muse (2005) and The Edinburgh Book of Twentieth-Century Scottish Poetry (Edinburgh University Press, 2005). He is the Glasgow University Senate Representative on the Ayrshire Educational Trust and the Marr Educational Trust. His selected poems Wild Blue was published by the University of Gdansk in a bilingual Polish edition (2014).