John Burnside

A lie about my fatherPoet, novelist, memoirist, short story writer, reader in creative writing at St Andrews University and Fifer. John Burnside wears a lot of hats and is a prolific talent, with 22 titles under his belt across this broad range of genres. Perhaps best known for his poetry, he won the Whitbread Poetry Award in 2000 for Asylum Dance; he draws inspiration from nature and has a passionate interest in the environment and ecology.

His first volume of personal memoirs A Lie about My Father is centred on his childhood and teenage years first in the Fife mining town of Cowdenbeath and later in Corby an equally grim English industrial centre. A loving but conventional Mother struggling to provide a happy home is in heartbreaking contrast to the destructive and alienating role of Burnside's hard man, heavy drinking Father. Volume two of the memoirs is due for release in 2009.