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James Robertson


1958 -

Author and poet, writing mostly in the Scots language. Born in Kent, from the age of six Robertson was brought up in Bridge of Allan and went on to read history at the University of Edinburgh. For two years from 1993, he served as writer-in-residence at Brownsbank Cottage in South Lanarkshire, which had been the home of poet Hugh MacDiarmid (1892 - 1978).

His works include a collection of short stories Close (1991), a collection of poems The Ragged Man's Complaint (1993) and Sound-Shadow (1995), in additional to poems such as I Dream of Alfred Hitchcock (1999), Fae the Flouers o' Evil: Baudelaire in Scots (2001) and Stirling Sonnets (2001). His novels include The Fanatic (2000) and Joseph Knight (2003), which won 'Book of the Year' awards from both the Saltire Society (2003) and the Scottish Arts Council (2004). Robertson edited a further collection of short stories, A Tongue in Yer Heid (1994), together with two books by geologist and folklorist Hugh Miller (1802-56) and was the joint compiler of a Dictionary of Scottish Quotations (1996). In 2000, he produced a new edition of the Selected Poems of Robert Fergusson to mark the 250th anniversary of that poet's birth. He became the first ever writer-in-residence at the Scottish Parliament in 2004 and produced Voyage of Intent, a collection of poems and essays, as a result of this experience.

Robertson lives in Newtyle (Angus) where he runs the Kettillonia Press to promote new Scottish writing. He is also a collaborator in the award-winning Itchy Coo initiative which promotes children's books in Scots.


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