November 10, 2018
by Nick Major

In 2009, Carol Ann Duffy was appointed the UK’s Poet Laureate. She was the first woman to be awarded the honour in its 400-year history. Her new book, Sincerity, is her last collection of poems before she steps down from the laureateship in May 2019. It was written over a period of two years and contains...


August 11, 2018
by Nick Major

Kamila Shamsie was born in Karachi in 1973. She comes from a family of intellectuals. Her mother, Muneeza Shamsie, is a celebrated academic and journalist who has published anthologies on Pakistani writing in the English Language. Her great aunt was the writer Attia Husain, and her grandfather studied...

Looking for Mma Ramotswe

July 31, 2018
by David Robinson

David Robinson interview with Alexander McCall Smith

THE SRB INTERVIEW: Kapka Kassabova

February 10, 2018
by Nick Major

Earlier this month, Kapka Kassabova won the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award for Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe. Kapka Kassabova is a poet of itinerancy and transience. Her prose and verse inhabit the physical and imaginary edge-lands of our lives. She was born in 1973 in Communist...


November 18, 2017

‘The past beats inside me like a second heart,’ says widow and art historian Max Morden in John Banville’s 2005 novel The Sea. He has returned to the seaside village of his childhood, where he first experienced love, in all its gentleness and brutality; re-imagining this personal enclave,...

The SRB Interview: John Byrne

June 9, 2017
by Nick Major

James Baldwin said that ‘painters have often taught writers how to see’. One could argue that every time John Byrne sits down to paint a picture his writerly imagination is being nurtured. His plays have a vibrancy, wildness and precise detail evident in his earliest primitive paintings. Byrne excels...

The SRB Interview: Denise Mina

March 3, 2017
by Nick Major

Modern crime writing is guilty of various misdemeanours. One is the creation of male detectives who bear a remarkable similarity to each other. Denise Mina is a writer who bucks the trend.

Hugh MacDiarmid: The lost Interview

November 18, 2016
by SRB

Forty years ago Hugh MacDiarmid, poet and provocateur, was interviewed by pupils of Hillhead High School, the result of which was published in their school magazine.

The SRB Interview: Kenny Anderson

November 18, 2016
by Nick Major

The singer-songwriter Kenny Anderson records his beguiling songs under the moniker King Creosote. The name captures the tone of his albums, which blend the ordinary and down-to-earth with the ethereal. 


August 10, 2016
by Nick Major

The quality of Gavin Francis’ books belies the fact that writing is not his only occupation. Born in Fife in 1975, he qualified from medical school in Edinburgh in 1999 and spent ten years travelling around the world.