As well as having a successful career in publishing, Robin Robertson is a poet whose work has won prestigious prizes on both sides of the Atlantic.
Born in Scone, Perthshire, Robertson was brought up in Aberdeen where his father, a Church of Scotland minister, was the university chaplain. After finishing a Master’s degree in Canada, he moved to London to take up a career in publishing, and is currently Associate Publisher at Jonathan Cape. He is a trustee emeritus of the Griffin Trust, which manages the Griffin Poetry Prize. He has collaborated with the folk musician Alasdair Roberts, most recently on Hirta Songs, a song-cycle about the island of St Kilda.
Robertson is the author of a number of books: A Painted Field (1997), Slow Air (2002), Swithering (2006), The Wrecking Light (2010), and Hill of Doors (2013), as well as The Deleted World, a selection of free English versions of poems by the Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer (2006), and translations of Euripides’ Medea (2008) and Bacchae (2013). He compiled and edited Mortification: Writers’ Stories of Their Public Shame (2004). His selected poems, Sailing the Forest, was published in 2014.
A Painted Field won the 1997 Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize and the Saltire First Book of the Year Award, while Swithering won the Scottish Arts Council Poetry Award and the 2006 Forward Prize for Best Collection. The Wrecking Light includes ‘At Roane Head’, which was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. In addition, Robertson has received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Cholmondeley Award and the Petrarca-Preis. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His most recent book, The Long Take, won the 2018 Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Goldsmiths Prize for Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.