Robin Fulton Macpherson was born in Arran in 1937, attended primary school in Arran and Glasgow and secondary school in Golspie, Sutherland. He attained an MA in 1959 and PhD in 1972 from Edinburgh University. From 1969 to 1971 he held the Writers’ Fellowship, also at Edinburgh University. He was senior lecturer at Stavanger University in Norway from 1973 to 2006.
His Selected Poems (1980) gathered work from five earlier volumes and was followed by two further collections (1982, 1990). Marick Press, Michigan, has brought out A Northern Habitat: Collected Poems 1960-2010.
He edited Lines Review and the associated books from 1967-1976; Selected Poems by Iain Crichton Smith (1983); The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Garioch (1983) and revised Robert Garioch’s Collected Poems (2004), and A Garioch Miscellany (1986).
His essays were published in Contemporary Scottish Poetry (1974) and The Way the Words are Taken (1989).
Book-length selections in translation include Sekunden överlever stenen, translated into Swedish by
Johannes Edfelt, Lasse Söderberg & Tomas Tranströmer (Ellerströms, Lund, 1996); Grenzflug, translated into German by Margitt Lehbert (Edition Rugerup, Hörby, 2008) and Poemas, translated into Spanish by Circe Maia (Rebeca Line Editoras, Montevideo, 2013)
He has translated a goodly number of Scandinavian poets, such as Tomas Tranströmer from Sweden (most recent edition 2011), and Olav H Hauge from Norway (most recent edition 2011). See also Four Swedish Poets (White Pine Press, 1990) and Five Swedish Poets (Norvik Press, Norwich, 1997). His most recent translations are from the Swedish of Harry Martinson (Bloodaxe, 2010, Bernard Shaw Translation Prize) and Kjell Espmark (Marick Press, Michigan, 2011 and 2012).