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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
University unveils 'dream' team
Glasgow University
The authors will share the Glasgow University post
Three of Scotland's best known writers have been appointed professors of creative writing by Glasgow University.

Alasdair Gray, James Kelman and Tom Leonard will share the new post on a course run by Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.

It is the first time in Glasgow University's 550 year history that it has had a chair of creative writing.

And the new incumbent has been the subject of much speculation.

James Kelman
James Kelman: Award-winning author
Three candidates stepped forward for the position - novelists Alasdair Gray and James Kelman and poet Tom Leonard.

They will share the post, which aims to encourage students to write novels and poetry of their own.

The appointments - described as a dream by staff at the university - have been broadly welcomed elsewhere.

All three writers are known for their commitment to making literature much more accessible.

Between them, they also cover everything from essays to screenplays.

It is a dream appointment that you could not have imagined if you were writing about it

Professor Willy Maley
Professor Willy Maley, of the department of English Literature at Glasgow University, described the appointments as "stunning".

"It is a dream appointment that you could not have imagined if you were writing about it.

"They have changed the critical climate as well as shaping the literary landscape.

"Their energetic interventions on debates around language and identity have been central to a renewed confidence in Scottish writing. Together, they cover all of the major genres and forms - biography, drama, including radio, screen, and theatre, essays, poetry, novels, novellas, and short stories."

The highly successful creative writing programme is being pioneered by the University of Glasgow along with the University of Strathclyde under the auspices of the Edwin Morgan Centre.

Visiting professor

Alasdair Gray was creative writer in residence at Glasgow University when he completed Lanark, his highly praised first novel, which won the Saltire and David Niven awards.

It is regarded as one of the most influential works of the twentieth century.

James Kelman's novel How Late it Was, How Late, won the 1994 Booker prize.

He has recently been a visiting professor at the University of Texas.

Tom Leonard is one of Scotland's leading poets and essayists.

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