Iain Galbraith

Iain Galbraith
Photograph of Iain Galbraith by Karen Leeder
Iain Galbraith © Karen Leeder



Iain Galbraith is a poet, essayist, and translator, who was born in Glasgow and now lives in Germany. 


Full Biography

Iain Galbraith, born in Glasgow in 1956, grew up in Arrochar and studied Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at the universities of Cambridge, Freiburg and Mainz. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Review, Irish Pages, The Times Literary Supplement and PN Review, and, in German translation, in the German and Austrian journals Akzente and Manuskripte.

His book publications include an anthology of Austrian poetry in English, The Night Begins with a Question (Carcanet/Scottish Poetry Library, 2007), and a substantial anthology of 20th-century Scottish poetry in German, Beredter Norden. 

His work as a translator of poetry to and from English includes, most recently, prize-winning versions of Jan Wagner's poetry in Self-portrait with a Swarm of Bees (Arc, 2015) and versions of John Burnside's poems, published by Hanser as Anweisungen für eine Himmelsbestattung in 2016He edited Michael Hamburger’s essays and poetry in German translation, published by Folio Verlag in two volumes, 2007 and 2009, and has edited works by such major Scottish authors as Robert Louis Stevenson and Walter Scott for a German classics series.

In 2010 Galbraith held a Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, where he researched the 'impossible translation'; in 2014-5 he taught the Poetics of Translation at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.  He has won a handful of prizes for literary translation: the John Dryden Translation Prize in 2004,  the Stephen Spender Prize in 2014, and, in 2015, the Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize.

Poems by Iain Galbraith

Further Reading

Selected Bibliography

as editor: 

The Night Begins with a Question: XXV Austrian poems 1978-2002 (Carcanet/Scottish Poetry Library, 2007)
Beredter Norden: Schottische Lyrik seit 1900 (Edition Rugerup, 2011).

as translator:

Alfred Kolleritsch, Selected Poems (Shearsman, 2007)
John Burnside, Versuch über das Licht: Gedichte / Essay Concerning Light: poems (Hanser, 2011)
W. G. Sebald, Across the Land and the Water: selected poems 1964-2001 (Hamish Hamilton, 2011)
Jan Wagner, Self-portrait with a Swarm of Bees: selected poems (Arc, 2015)
John Burnside, Anweisungen für eine Himmelsbestattung: Ausgewählte Gedichte / Instructions for a Sky Burial: selected poems (Hanser, 2016)