(born 1947)

Alan Spence

'The stars were Van Gogh flowers of light, pulses of cold fire in a swirling firmament. He looked out into vast space, felt afloat in it himself. He knew it was forever. And in that moment, in knowing it, so was he.'
('The Magic Flute')

Alan Spence, author of poetry, novels, short stories and plays, was born in Glasgow. The city's sights and sounds permeate much of his work, including his first collection of short stories, 'Its Colours They Are Fine' (1977). In dealing with Scottish urban life, he brings to bear a compassionate detachment. Whatever their everyday preoccupations, his characters experience sudden flashes of wonder at the mystery of existence. This theme runs through 'The Magic Flute' (1990), 'Stone Garden' (1995) and 'Way to Go' (1998). As a poet, Alan Spence has made zestful use of haiku in 'Plop!' (1970), 'Glasgow Zen' (1981), and 'Seasons of the Heart' (2000). He uses the haiku form to explore the essential paradox of life, discovering timelessness in cycles of changes, immanence in the finite, simplicity in the intricate. He has received many awards for his writing. Alan Spence is based in Edinburgh where he and his wife run the Chinmoy Meditation Centre. Contemplative meditation is at the heart of his life and the perspective derived from this practice informs all of his work.

Alan Spence

Alan Spence at home in Edinburgh, 2001.

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