Duncan Glen was born in Cambuslang in 1933. He left school to become a management trainee and apprentice compositor in Glasgow and Kirkcaldy, before gaining a scholarship to Edinburgh College of Art in 1954. His studies were interrupted by National Service, during which Glen worked as an interpreter of photographs in the RAF. He went on to be employed by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office as a typographic designer and as a freelance designer for publishers in London. He lectured in design at the University of Lancashire and Nottingham Trent University, and was granted the title Emeritus Professor at Nottingham Trent in 1987. He was elected as a fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers in 1997 and was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by Paisley University in 1998.
As well as his own poetry, he has produced a number of anthologies and an impressive range of publications in other areas, including an influential history of typography. His book, Hugh MacDiarmid and the Scottish Renaissance (1964) was the first full critical study of the poet and did a great deal for his reputation. Glen also edited Akros magazine for 25 years, providing a vehicle for Scottish literature in an international context.
He died in 2008.