Dilys Rose

Short-story writer, Poet, Novelist


Dilys Rose was born in Glasgow and has lived in Edinburgh for most of her adult life. She is a novelist, short-story writer and poet who, to date, has published twelve books. Her most recent novel, Unspeakable (2017), set in seventeenth-century Edinburgh, centres on the life and times of the last person in Britain to be hanged for blasphemy. Her previous novel, Pelmanism (2014), concerns itself with the unreliability of memory and its impact on family dynamics, and the poetry collection, Bodywork (2007), explores the quirks, hazards and conundrums of physiology.

She has enjoyed collaborating with visual artists and composers on several projects, including writing the opera libretto for Kaspar Hauser — Child of Europe, composed by Rory Boyle. She has received various awards for her writing, including the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday short story prize, the McCash poetry prize, two Scottish Arts Council book awards, a Society of Authors’ travel award and a Leverhulme research fellowship. Her short-story collection, Red Tides, was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish book of the year and McVitie’s Scottish writer of the year; her novel, Pest Maiden, was nominated for the Impac prize and Bodywork shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Council/Sundial poetry award.

For eighteen years she taught on postgraduate creative writing programmes at the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and Edinburgh.

She has recently completed a new collection of stories, working title, Sea Fret. In her spare time, she pursues an abiding interest in drawing and printmaking, and helps out with her grandchildren.

More from Dilys Rose

DIlys Rose

Dilys Rose

Short-story writer, Poet, Novelist


  • University of Glasgow, 2019–2022
  • Writing for Life Fellow