Robert Herring (poet)

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Robert Herring (1903–1975) was a Scottish (and Welsh) writer and poet, remembered as an early film critic and editor of the significant literary magazine, Life and Letters Today.

Robert Herring was assistant editor of The London Mercury from 1925 to 1934. He took over editorship of Life and Letters Today in 1935, when it was purchased by Bryher, and held it for about 15 years, working initially with Petrie Townsend. The first issue [1] featured the following articles :

Mary Butts - "The Guest"

Murray Constantine - "The Power of Merlin"

H. D. - "The Dancer"

Havelock Ellis- "Rousseau To-day"

Kenneth Macpherson - "Out of the Air"

Lotte Reininger - "Bristol"

Gertrude Stein - "English and American Language in Literature"

The issue also included contributions by Sergei M. Eisenstein, André Gide, Horace Gregory, Osbert Sitwell and Eric Walter White. It continued to publish major figures, including Henry Miller and Dylan Thomas. The title of the magazine was Life and Letters Today, but reverted to its pre-Bryher title, Life and Letters, when the publication took over the London Mercury and Bookman titles.

Herring became close friends of the Pool Group (H.D., Bryher and Kenneth Macpherson), having associated with them since their interest in experimental film in the late 1920s.[2]

Herring played the pianist in Macpherson’s avant-garde production, Borderline (1930).[3]


  • The President's Hat (1926)
  • Films Of The Year (1927)
  • Films of the Year, 1927 – 1928 (1929)
  • Adam and Evelyn at Kew, or Revolt in the Gardens (Elkin Mathews & Marrot, 1930) (Colour illustrations by Edward Bawden)
  • Cactus Coast (1934) novel
  • Cinema Survey (with Dallas Bower and Bryher).
  • The Impecunious Captain or Love as Liv'd (1944)
  • Westward Look.Poems 1922-45 (1945)


  1. ^ Louis Silverstein's H.D. Chronology
  2. ^ Close-Up 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism, co-edited by Anne Friedberg, James Donald and Laura Marcus (Princeton University Press, 1998)[1]
  3. ^ Donnell Media Center - 16mm Film Catalogue, New York City Public Library (2006)[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Meic Stephens, 'The Third Man: Robert Herring and Life and Letters To-day', Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays, 1997, pp. 157–69