Alan Gillis was born in Belfast in 1973 and lives in Scotland where he is Lecturer in English at The University of Edinburgh and editor of Edinburgh Review.
His first collection, Somebody, Somewhere (2004) was short-listed for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and won the Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for best first collection. Hawks and Doves (2007), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. Here Comes the Night was published in 2010 followed by Scapegoat in 2014. He was selected as a “Next Generation Poet” by the UK’s Poetry Book Society in 2014.
In addition, Alan Gillis has co-edited numerous volumes of criticism, including the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (2012), The Edinburgh Introduction to Studying English Literature (2010), and Critical Ireland: New Essays in Literature and Culture (2001). He is the author of Irish Poetry of the 1930’s, published by Oxford University Press in 2005 and is currently working on The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry. Alan Gillis has been chosen as one of the PBS Next Generation Poets 2014.
How often have you been excited by a new poem? Excited enough, that is, to pick up the phone and tell people about what you’ve just discovered? Like me, perhaps, you would answer well, no, not all that often. We all find different poems exciting for different reasons, of course; and the last two poems that had this particular effect on me were in the same book by the same author: in Alan Gillis’s debut collection Somebody, Somewhere . . .
— Peter MacDonald, Tower Poetry