Andrés N. Ordorica & Alan Spence
Saturday 23rd September, 5.30-6.30pm BST
Main Hall King's Pavilion, King's College Campus University of Aberdeen
Award-winning poet, novelist and playwright Alan Spence appears with queer latinx poet, writer and educator Andrés N. Ordorica. Alan will be launching his new novel Mister Timeless Blyth, based on the life of Zen and Haiku pioneer Reginald Blyth. Andres N. Ordorica’s collection, At Least This I Know, draws on his family’s immigrant history and his own third culture upbringing.
Andrés N. Ordorica (he/him) is a queer Latinx poet, writer, and educator based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Drawing on his family’s immigrant history and his own third culture upbringing, his writing maps the journey of diaspora and unpacks what it means to be from ni de aquí, ni de allá (neither here, nor there). His collection, At Least This I Know, was described as ‘vivid, human, caustic and witty,’ by Jenni Fagan; these poems lead us through questions of ancestry, nationhood and belonging, charting a personal exploration, while the more recent work of Andrés shows a move away from the personal. His writing often addresses themes of queerness, liminality, and concepts of belonging. He has published personal essays and creative journalism on the arts, mental health, sexuality, and immigration. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.
Based on the fascinating, complex life of Reginald Horace Blyth: conscientious objector, devotee of Japanese culture, pioneering writer on Zen and Haiku, Mr Timeless Blyth is a ‘biographical novel’ set to join the other landmark writings of Alan Spence. The Herald has called the novel, ‘remarkable for being both a conventional and compelling novel, and a work of philosophy and literature.’ Since 1977, with the publication of Its Colours They Are Fine, Alan Spence has been a significant and consistent presence in Scottish writing, an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer. Ali Smith called him ‘a necessary visionary.’ Awards include the McVitie Prize (Scottish Writer of the Year), Glasgow Herald People’s Prize, TMA Drama Award and Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award. Books include The Pure Land and Glasgow Zen. His play Sailmaker is a set text in Scottish Schools. He is Professor Emeritus in Creative Writing at The University of Aberdeen, (where he founded the WORD festival in 1999) and from 2017 to 2021 he was Edinburgh Makar (Poet Laureate to the City). In 2018 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun from the Government of Japan. With his wife he runs the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh.