Quick & Quirky Questions with Diana Hendry

Photo by Gerry Cambridge

Diana, aged 79, lives in Edinburgh. Primarily a poet, Diana also writes short stories and children’s books. A former tutor at Bristol University and the Open University, she has tutored many courses for the Arvon foundation and from 2015-2017 was co-editor of New Writing Scotland.

 Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  • I published a collection of poems, The Watching Stair (Worple Press), in 2018.
  • I thought it would be my last, but I’m beginning to put together another.
  • Currently I’m writing a sequel to a children’s book that did very well 30 years ago!
  • Next week I’m doing a Zoom poetry reading for an Edinburgh Primary school.

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

My favourite age so far has been 60! I think this is because I moved to Edinburgh then and it was a new beginning. I was quickly involved in the Book Festival and other literary events and perhaps more importantly I met my new partner. Here’s to late love!

Who is your favourite fictional character over 60?

Addie Moore in Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. Addie Moore is a widow. At 70 she goes up the road to a neighbour who is a widower and ask him to sleep with her – not for the sex but the company and the talk and because nights are the hardest. Also, I think Kent Haruf is a terrific novelist.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

I’d really like to take the piano if I could possibly push it out! If not, I’d take my address book.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Well, you might guess this from my answer to no 4. Playing the piano. It’s been incredibly important during lockdown. I’ve rediscovered some Bach French Suites and some Mozart sonatas.

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

I’m a partial insomniac. Two good nights (with luck) one bad.

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