Robin Fulton was born in Arran in 1937. He gained 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. He now lives on the coast at Hafrsfjord near Stavanger.
His Selected Poems (1980) gathered work from five earlier volumes and was followed by three further collections (1982, 1990, 2003).
He has translated work by many Scandinavian poets, including, most notably, Tomas Tranströmer, Harry Martinson, Lennart Sjögren and Kjell Espmark from Sweden, and Olav H. Hauge from Norway. He has worked with Tomas Tranströmer on each of his collections as they have been published over many years, which has involved detailed exchanges between translator and poet on the meaning and music of numerous poems, culminating in the publication by Bloodaxe Books of Tranströmer's Collected Poems in 1987 and New Collected Poems in 1997. There have been several translations as well as some books of so-called "versions" of Tranströmer's poetry published in English, but Fulton's is the most authoritative and comprehensive edition of his poetry published anywhere. The American edition of this book, published by New Directions under the title The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, has superseded all previous American translations.
His translation Chickweed Wintergreen: Selected Poems by Harry Martinson, a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2010 with an introduction by Staffan Söderblom, and won him the Bernard Shaw Prize for Swedish Translation. It was followed by two editions of his translations of Kjell Espmark from Marick Press (Michigan), a complete collection, Lend Me Your Voice (2011), and a selected poems, Outside the Calendar (2012). He has also published two anthologies, Four Swedish Poets (White Pine Press, 1990) and Five Swedish Poets (Norvik Press, Norwich, 1997).
He edited Lines Review and the associated books from 1967 to 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).
Selections of his poems have been translated into Swedish (by among others Lasse Söderberg and Tomas Tranströmer), Spanish (by Circe Maia), and German (by Margitt Lehbert). The latter appeared in 2008 as Grenzflug. Other translations have appeared in Hebrew and Chinese.
Books by Robin Fulton