Dorothy Lawrenson is a writer who was born in Dundee and brought up in Fife. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews. Dorothy has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh, an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University, and an MA in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh.
Dorothy’s critical research explores how formal features depend on context to influence tone and thereby voice and meaning in the work of T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice. Her poetry is concerned with landscape and especially with rivers, estuaries and shorelines. She writes in English and in Scots.
Dorothy’s poetry has been published in Causeway/Cabhsair, Edinburgh Review, Eemis Stane, Frogmore Papers, Gutter, The Herald, Irish Pages, ISLE, Lallans, The Oxford Magazine, Poetry Scotland, The Scores, The Scotsman, The Spectator, SOUTH, and Painted, spoken; in the anthologies Best New British and Irish Poets 2019–2021 (Black Spring Press), A Year of Scottish Poems (Macmillan), Be the First to Like This (Vagabond Voices), Double Bill (Red Squirrel Press) and Whaleback City (Dundee University Press). She was the winner of the Wigtown Scots Prize in the 2019 Wigtown Poetry Prize, a 2020 winner of the Scots Language Society’s Sangschaw competition, and a runner-up in the 2022 University of Edinburgh Sloan Prize for writing in Scots.
A former editor of FORUM: The University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts, Dorothy has also served on the editorial team at Texas Books in Review and Southwestern American Literature. As editor of Perjink Press she was awarded (and twice shortlisted for) the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award for publishing. An experienced teacher of literature and creative writing, she is also an Associate Lead Reader for Open Book.
For the Scots Language Society’s Scotsoun label Dorothy has recorded readings of her own poetry for the CD Auld Leids New Vyces. She has also recorded poetry by Marion Angus and Tam Hubbard, John Law’s translations of Neruda, and various Dundonian poets. She continues to take an active interest in art and design, as well as in traditional music and spoken word. She performs with – and sometimes plays the Northumbrian smallpipes for – Mons Meg Rapper, Edinburgh’s rapper sword dance team. You can follow her on twitter @djlawrenson.