Alan Spence is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer and is the author of six works of fiction, six collections of poetry and six plays. His awards include the Glenfiddich Award, The People's Prize, Macallan Short Story Prize and McVitie Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year. He is Professor Emeritus in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen where he founded the annual WORD Festival in 1999 and was its Artistic Director for twelve years. With his wife he runs the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh. In 2017 he was appointed Edinburgh Makar, the Poet Laureate for the City.