Willy Maley is a Glasgow academic and writer. He is currently Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow, where he has worked since 1994. Willy has lectured and published on a wide range of Renaissance writers including Spenser and Shakespeare, and on modern Irish and Scottish writers such as James Connolly, James Joyce, Teresa Deevy, Marina Carr, Leila Aboulela, Peter Mullan, Janice Galloway, Irvine Welsh, James Kelman, Alasdair Gray and Muriel Spark.
On My Father’s Refusal to Renew his Subscription to The Beijing Review
By Willy Maley
He’s fallen out with everyone,
including God, but hasn’t had a rift with China.
Yet he’s set his face against renewal.
‘Getting near the end now’.
He never speaks of death or dying.
At ninety-eight too late to start anew?
‘Aye, getting near the end’.
What can he mean?
A Five Year Plan whose targets he can’t meet?
Is he thinking of Taiwan?
Another link in the Great Chain of Beijing
They’ll repossess it,
just like they did Hong Kong,
toying with America.
All the more good cause to sign
along the dotted line?
Five more years’ deliverance by airmail.
Not filtered by the West
Through The Guardian digest
But straight from the red, red heart of the world.
His research interests cover a similarly wide range, from national and colonial identities in 16th and 17th century literature through to the modern African novel. He is currently working on a research project on John Milton and Empire entitled Mapping Milton, and on a collaborative project with David Baker and Pat Palmer on early modern Irish networks and collective biography called MACMORRIS (Mapping Actors and Contexts: Modelling Research in Renaissance Ireland in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century). MACMORRIS is a digital-humanities project that seeks to map the full range of Irish cultural activity, across languages and ethnic groups, from 1541 to 1691.
Willy’s writing is not confined to academic work. He is also a playwright, poet and journalist. He founded the Creative Writing postgraduate programme at the University of Glasgow with Philip Hobsbaum in 1995. Two of his plays – From the Calton to Catalonia, co-written with his brother John, and The Lions of Lisbon, written with Ian Auld – have had recent reprints and revivals, with further public performances of these and other plays in the pipeline. Collaborative work is Willy’s trademark.