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: