John Burnside

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John Burnside in the Literary Salon Cologne, Stadtgarten (2016)
John Burnside in the Literary Salon Cologne, Stadtgarten (2016)

John Burnside (born March 19, 1955 in Dunfermline , Fife , Scotland ) is a Scottish writer.


John Burnside grew up in Cowdenbeath and moved to Corby when he was ten . He began as an unskilled industrial worker in a factory for the automotive supply industry. He studied English and European languages in Cambridge at what was then the College of Arts and Technology (today: Anglia Ruskin University ). He then worked in computer software development before becoming a freelance writer in 1996.

Burnside was Writer in Residence at the University of Dundee and is now (2015) Professor of Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He writes a column in The Guardian and in 2007 was one of the judges at the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize , in 2011 he was a juror for the Manchester Fiction Prize .

In his first novel, House of the Mutes , he investigated Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar's experiment as to whether language is innate or learned. The novel Glister is a didactic piece about environmental degradation. In I put a spell on you he follows his father's generation of workers. In his autobiographical writings, he addresses the abnormal life in the suburbs from the point of view of his apophenia and his drug addiction, which he escaped with an addiction to writing.

Burnsides et al. a. Poetry influenced by TS Eliot testifies to encounters with the sounds, animals and plants of his environment. Their spatial design plays a role: hedges, fences, gardens, ditches, aisles in the forest, platforms, ports, beaches, transition zones at dusk. Yet there is no feeling of home ; the boundaries between inside and outside become blurred; many rooms remain empty.

Awards (selection)

Works (selection)

  • The Hoop , 1988 - honored with the Scottish Arts Council Book Award . Carcanet, Manchester, ISBN 0-85635-742-1 .
  • Common Knowledge , 1991 - honored with the Scottish Arts Council Book Award .
  • Feast Days , 1992 - Awarded the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize .
  • The Asylum Dance , 2000.
  • The Light Trap , Jonathan Cape, London 2002, ISBN 978-0-224-06177-3 e
  • Black Cat Bone , Cape Poetry range. Jonathan Cape, London 2011, ISBN 978-0-224-09385-9 .
    • Instructions for a heavenly burial. Selected poems. English-German (from 1994–2016), translated by Ian Galbraith. Carl Hanser, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-446-25266-0 .
  • In the Name of the Bee / In the Name of the Bee , dt. By Iain Galbraith. Golden Luft Verlag, Mainz 2018, ISBN 978-3-9818555-3-1 .
Novels and short stories
Radio plays
as editor
  • with Alex Finlay: Love for Love, an Anthology of Love Poems , 2000.
  • Wallace Stevens : Poems , selected by John Burnside, 2008.
  • with Jo Lendle: Akzente 2/2018: order , 2018.
  • Nature !: A hundred poems. Selected and with an essay by John Burnside , Penguin Verlag 2018, ISBN 978-3-328-60000-8 .

Web links

Commons : John Burnside  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Christian Mayer: whipping boy. Interview, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung], October 18, 2014, p. 20.
  2. Gregor Dotzauer: The devil is in a leftover instant noodle. In: The time of August 24, 2016.
  3. Press release according to book report from May 21, 2012