W. N. Herbert
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W. N. Herbert

Bill Herbert
W. N. Herbert.jpg
Dundee, Scotland
Pen nameW. N. Herbert
Occupationpoet, academic
LanguageEnglish and Scots
Alma materBrasenose College, Oxford

W. N. Herbert FRSL, also known as Bill Herbert (born 1961) is a poet from Dundee, Scotland. He writes in both English and Scots. He and Richard Price founded the poetry magazine Gairfish. He currently teaches at Newcastle University.[1]

Early life

Herbert was born in 1961 in Dundee. He was educated at Grove Academy and then studied Brasenose College, Oxford gaining a Doctor of Philosophy in 1992 after completing a thesis on the work of Hugh MacDiarmid.[2]


In 1994, he was one of 20 poets chosen by a panel of judges, as the New Generation in a promotion organised by the Poetry Society.[3] He was one of the writers involved in the Informationist poetry movement that emerged in Scotland in the 1990s.

He became a Professor of Poetry & Creative Writing at the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Newcastle University.[4]

In September 2013, Herbert was appointed as Dundee's first makar.[5]

Awards and honours

He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2015.[6]


Poetry collections

  • Dundee Doldrums (1991)
  • The Testament of the Reverend Thomas Dick (1994)
  • Cabaret McGonagall (1996)
  • The Laurelude (1998)
  • The Big Bumper Book of Troy (2002)
  • Bad Shaman Blues (2006) [7]
  • Three Men on the Metro, with Andy Croft and Paul Summers, Five Leaves (2009)[8]
  • Omnesia (2013) [9]

Literary criticism

  • To Circumjack MacDiarmid (1992)


  1. ^ Lindsay, Maurice; Duncan, Lesley, eds. (2005), The Edinburgh Book of Twentieth-Century Scottish Poetry, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 385-386, ISBN 0-7486-2015-X
  2. ^ "Poetry: Poets A to Z: W. N. Herbert". Scottish Poetry Library. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ Lister, David (13 January 1994). "New generation of writers presents poetry in motion: Some of today's best poetic talents tend to eschew writing of love". The Independent. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "English Literature, Languages and Linguistics: Staff". Newcastle University. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ Cowing, Emma (15 September 2013). "Dundee appoints WN Herbert as first maker". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ "Current RSL Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ O'Brien, Sean (19 February 2006). "The secret weapon of his generation". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ "Three Men on the Metro". P. N. Review 197. January 2011. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ Kelly, Stuart (30 March 2013). "Book review: Omnesia by WN Herbert". The Scotsman.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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