Diana Hendry


The psychologist D.W. Winnacott once wrote that in most writers there is a conflict between two needs,

‘the urgent desire to communicate

and the still more urgent need not to be found.’

That’s me! But you’ll find something of me here.


Diana Hendry was born in the Wirral and grew up by the sea.  She did very badly at school – falling in love at 13 being rather a distraction – and spent a long time catching up, which included becoming a mature student at Bristol University and later studying for an M.Litt.

Primarily a poet, Diana also writes short stories and is the author of many children’s books. She’s worked as a journalist, English teacher and a tutor at the University of Bristol,  University of the West of England and the Open University. She has tutored many creative writing courses for the Arvon Foundation and for a year was writer-in-residence at Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary.

She is a honorary member of Shore Poets, Edinburgh, and from 2008–2010 she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow based at Edinburgh University. Currently she is co-editor (with Gerry Camridge) of New Writing Scotland. She writes the occasional book review for The Spectator.

Diary Notes:  Autumn 2015

Just now I’m expecting a very large box of submissions for New Writing Scotland (published by the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.) The anthology is a major forum for new writing. Last year there was a total of 500 entries – a mix of poems and stories. So a lot of reading! Together with Gerry Cambridge, I’ll  be editing this anthology, now in its 34th year, for two more years.  

Last year Gerry and I each made a short-list and then we met up to make a final choice.  Sometimes each of us had to give up on  a chosen story or poem, but overall, there was a lot of agreement and we were very pleased that the anthology, The Rooftop Busker,  included work by both new and well-known writers such as Andrew Greig, Cynthia Rogerson and Stewart Conn.


What I need to be doing now is to plan the sequel to my junior novel, Out of the Clouds.  I’ve a deadline of next September  and at the moment I’ve only get a small idea for the way the book begins.  I’ve bought a new notebook – always a help – and the label on the cover says ‘Dizzy Perch 2’.  Dizzy Perch is the house, high up on the cliffs where my characters live.


I’m pleased to have finished the poems for Seond Wind, the pamphlet published by The Saltire Society. But I’m always hoping for new poems.  I belong to a workshop group which meets every six weeks. There are four of us.  Hamish Whyte, (my partner) Ian McDonough, Christine de Luca (Edinburgh’s Makar) and myself.  We each have to write two poems – one to a given title.  We meet soon, I better get going!


Lastly, I’m assistant editor to Hamish Whyte’s Mariscat Press.  This usually means that there’s a new manuscript to read and for us to talk about.



‘The Seeing’ is on The Sunday Times list of a 100 Children’s Modern Classics

A poetry pamphlet entitled 'Second Wind', on the theme of ageing is to be published in October

Out of the Clouds, The story of a family living in a house high above the sea

and of the search, by Oliver, to find his father.

Coming in May 2016

The Seed-box Lantern: New & Selected Poems, now available from Mariscat Press

Photograph by Mark Jackson