Born in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, educated at Cambridge and Glasgow, Alan Riach went to the University of Waikato, New Zealand, as Associate Professor in 1986. He returned to Scotland in 2001 as Reader in the Department of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, where he is now Professor. He is the author of works of criticism on the poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid, editor of MacDiarmid’s collected works for Carcanet Press, and has written or edited several volumes on twentieth century Scottish literature. He is co-author with Alexander Moffat of two books on art and culture in modern Scotland.
Riach has published six collections of his own poetry and has recently worked on English-language versions of 18th-century Gaelic poems.