W.N. Herbert

W.N. Herbert was born in Dundee in 1961, and educated there and at Brasenose College, Oxford. He is mostly published by Bloodaxe Books, who published Omnesia (in two volumes) in 2013, in which year his pamphlet Murder Bear also appeared with Donut Press. He won a Cholmondely Award in 2014, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2015. He is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and is also the Dundee Makar, or City Laureate.

Photo: Isobel Taylor Herbert


Past & Present »

W.N. Herbert on W.S. Graham; Oli Hazzard on John Ashbery

Sat 10 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber

Book Launch: The Caught Habits of Language »

Join editors Rachael Boast and Andy Ching for the launch of 'An Entertainment for W.S. Graham for Him Having Reached One Hundred’

Sat 10 March | 18:15 - 18:45 | FREE | J & G Innes Ltd, Booksellers, South Street


The Calotype
(Edinburgh, 1840)

'Earth's shadows…’

Here they all are, all four, as though they had lived,
with Burns the grand old man, frail and serene,
but sharing that something round the brows with Byron
that says they will never be forgiven.
His juniors still look young, though slow exposure
has made Keats waver and obscured the lines
written through his brows by Rome. The real surprise
is Shelley being there at all - that closure
he imposed post-drowning left the muses hopeless.
It must have been the chance to meet with Brewster,
transposer of his vision into glass,
who prints their likeness now upon the future.
They almost laugh that luck's kaleidoscope
has caught them gazing at us as we pass.

W.N. Herbert