GRAY DAY 2023: POOR THINGS – 25th February @ Òran Mór, Glasgow


After Alasdair Gray died in late 2019, an annual celebration was set up by The Alasdair Gray Archive, his publishers Canongate and Bloomsbury, and a series of folks invested in Gray’s work, to help celebrate and interrogate that work while sharing it with new readers and viewers. In 2021, in the depths of the Covid pandemic, a number of us took part in an online celebration of Gray’s novel Lanark, which was 40 years old at the time. The likes of Ali Smith, Irvine Welsh, Alan Cumming and Denise Mina read sections of Lanark and discussed the book’s legacy. I was one of those involved that first year. In 2022, with restrictions eased, the Òran Mór Auditorium in Glasgow featuring Gray’s Glasgow night sky and Garden of Eden, Liz Lochhead, Holly McNish and Neu Reekie! hosted a night focusing on Gray’s final three books, his three responses to Dante – Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell. This year the focus is POOR THINGS, Gray’s playful, award-winning novel which was also a Glasgow, 19th Century Frankenstein. Organised by The Alasdair Gray Archive and once again hosted at Òran Mór, this year’s event takes place on the evening of 25th February.

Soon, a film reimagining the story, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Emma Stone, will be released later this year. So with excitement building Gray Day 3 takes the chance to explore Gray’s POOR THINGS the book once more. Hosted by playwright, novelist and performer ALAN BISSETT, and alongside myself, there to give an overview of the book and a sense of Gray’s approach, there will be readings from the poet and nonfiction author of Boy Friends MICHAEL PEDERSEN, the Saltire Award-winning CHITRA RAMASWAMY, reading from RICH THINGS, her brand new creative commission responding to Gray’s novel, also Alasdair’s friend and fellow leading author BERNARD MACLAVERTY sharing his memories of the writing of the novel, before an acoustic set by JILL LOREAN at the night’s close.

You can find out more about Alasdair Gray, and Gray Day, at and get tickets at

Rodge recently appeared on the Scots Whay Hae podcast to talk all things Gray Day with host Ali Braidwood. You can find that episode here:

Michel Faber: The Writer & His Work

Publication date confirmed, blurb & advance endorsements

Publication date confirmed

Liverpool University Press have confirmed that Rodge Glass’s new book, MICHEL FABER: THE WRITER & HIS WORK, will be published on 1st August 2023, details to follow. Meanwhile, there are some fantastic endorsements from writers and fans of Faber’s work that can be shared, giving a taster of the book’s approach and contents, as well as a blurb below.


This book by Rodge Glass, the award-winning novelist, short story writer and biographer, is the first ever detailed assessment of Michel Faber’s life and work across genre and form. It draws on intimate, wide-ranging interviews with the author over a two-year period and investigates previously unexplored archival material, from the Canongate Books records to Faber’s own personal archive, to bring fresh perspectives to light. Glass presents detailed interrogations of unpublished texts, including a novel, A Photograph of Jesus, as well as providing deep dives into Faber’s most celebrated works such as Under the Skin and The Crimson Petal and the White. Known for his hybrid creative-critical approach, Glass uses Faber’s interest in generosity and compassion in writing as a focus for this study. Grouping his works by ‘World’, the book ranges across poetry, short stories, novels and novellas to make an argument for Faber as a writer who has consistently sought to explore narrow emotional territory, that of the human instinct to seek connection with others, even if genuine connection seems unlikely or impossible. Glass draws on individual case studies across Faber’s hugely diverse body of work in a way that will be both interesting for fans and informative for students of Faber’s writing.


A handful of readers have read the manuscript of the book in advance, and agreed to provide endorsements. These are all published writers who are also fans of Faber’s work.

“Glass takes an author who resists easy categorisations or a simple analysis by chronology, and embraces that, examining Michel Faber’s oeuvre by ‘world’ and highlighting the common thread of compassion throughout them all. Illuminating and enriching, this is the perfect book for Faber fans.”

Ever Dundas, author of HellSans and Goblin

“There were so many ‘ah-hah’ moments in Rodge Glass’s masterful overview of Michel Faber’s work. He takes that singularly disparate oeuvre and teases out the themes that run through the hearts of each book: connection, alienation and a deep, deep compassion. It made me want to go back and start reading Faber all over again from the start.”

Mat Osman, author of The Ghost Theatre and The Ruins 

‘This volume offers an engaging and insightful overview of Michel Faber’s writing. Combining archival material and correspondence with close readings, Glass provides the best current introduction to Faber’s diverse body of work, with analysis and background that will fascinate both new readers and experts. This is a witty, thoughtful book that deserves a wide readership.’

Professor Timothy C. Baker, Personal Chair in Contemporary and Scottish Literature, University of Aberdeen, and author of Reading My Mother Back

‘How to contain a writer as sinuous and otherworldly as Michel Faber? Glass cleverly approaches the task by grouping Faber’s work into various ‘worlds’, which allows us to see the repetition, indeed the consistency of themes, juxtaposed with the radically different tones, textures and genres Faber uses to explore them. This insightful study is must-read for readers and writers alike, reflecting the compassion and consideration Faber deploys in his creative process, and shining a light on our eternal search for connection.’

Karen Campbell, author of The Sounds of the Hours and Paper Cup

‘A rigorous, fascinating, illuminating work, which shines a new light on Faber’s manner of writing and the themes he tackles in his books. I felt like someone was handing me those books with the pages delicately opened, to invite me to engage with them in a way I hadn’t before.’

Heather Parry, author of Orpheus Builds a Girl