W. N. Herbert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bill Herbert
W. N. Herbert.jpg
Born 1961
Dundee, Scotland
Pen name W. N. Herbert
Occupation poet, academic
Language English and Scots
Alma mater Brasenose 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[edit]

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[edit]

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


Poetry collections[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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 22 February 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 23 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "English Literature, Languages and Linguistics: Staff". Newcastle University. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Cowing, Emma (15 September 2013). "Dundee appoints WN Herbert as first maker". The Scotsman. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "Current RSL Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  7. ^ O’Brien, Sean (19 February 2006). "The secret weapon of his generation". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 24 February 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "Three Men on the Metro". P. N. Review 197. January 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Kelly, Stuart (30 March 2013). "Book review: Omnesia by WN Herbert". The Scotsman. 

External links[edit]