James Aitchison was born in Stirlingshire in 1938 and educated at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities. He has published several collections of poems and the critical study, The Golden Harvester: the vision of Edwin Muir. He received a Gregory Award for the poems that formed the basis of his first collection, Sounds Before Sleep (1971), and in 1992 he won the Canadian Writing Wilderness award for the long poem, ‘Canada’, which appeared in Brain Scans (1998). He has written much on the creative process and poetics.
Formerly a senior lecturer in the Department of Print Media, Publishing and Communication at Napier University, his other publications include Cassell’s Dictionary of English Grammar and the textbook Writing for the Press: an introduction.