Robin Robertson

Robin Robertson

Born1955 (age 63–64)
Scone, Perthshire, Scotland
Notable worksA Painted Field, Swithering, The Wrecking Light, The Long Take
Notable awardsForward Prize
E. M. Forster Award

Robin Robertson, FRSL (born in 1955) is a Scottish poet.[1]


(Written in memory of Michael Donaghy)

"I'm not stopping,"
he said, shrugging off his skin
like a wet-suit, then stretching it
on the bodhran's frame,
"let's play."
And he played till dawn:
all the jigs and reels
he knew, before he stood
and drained the last
from his glass, slipped back in
to the seal-skin,
into a new day, saluting us
with that famous grin:
"That's me away."

"Selkie" from Swithering (Picador, 2006) [2]

Robertson was brought up on the north-east coast of Scotland, but has spent most of his professional life in London. After working as an editor at Penguin Books and Secker and Warburg, he became poetry and fiction editor at Jonathan Cape.

Robertson's poetry appears regularly in the London Review of Books and The New York Review of Books, and is represented in many anthologies. In 2004, he edited Mortification: Writers' Stories of Their Public Shame, which collects seventy commissioned pieces by international authors. In 2006 he published The Deleted World, new versions of the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, and in 2008 a new translation of Medea, which has been dramatised for stage and radio. Robertson was a trustee of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry (and is now a trustee emeritus).

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español: Robin Robertson