June 17, 2010

Robin Fulton

Robin Fulton [Scotland/lives Norway]

Robin Fulton grew up in Scotland, spending almost four decades on both sides of the Highland Line. His father’s people were from the Borders, his mother’s from Sutherland and Caithness. He attended primary school on Arran and in Glasgow, secondary school at Golspie in Sutherland, and took an M.A. and Ph.D. at Edinburgh University. He has been a resident of Norway for three decades, living in a way on both sides of the North Sea.

Between 1967 and 1976, Fulton edited Lines Review and associated books, and he held the Writers’ Fellowship at Edinburgh University from 1969 to 1989. A Selected Poems in 1980 gathered work from five early collections and was followed by other collections in 1982, 1990 and 2003. Fulton has also translated many poems from Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian, and his own poetry has appeared in Swedish, Spanish, German, Hebrew and Chinese. For his translation he has won the Artur Lundqvist translation award in 1977, and the Swedish Academy translation award in 1978 and 1998. Most recently he has translated the complete poems of poet Tomas Tranströmer.


Instances (Edinburgh: Macdonald, 1967); Inventories (Thurso: Caithness Books, 1969); The Spaces between the Stones (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1971); The Man with the Surbahar (Edinburgh: Macdonald, 1971); Tree-Lines (New York: New Rivers Press, 1974); Between Flights (Egham, Surrey, England: Interim Press, 1976); Selected Poems 1963-1978 (Edinburgh: Macdonald, 1980); Following a Mirror (London: Oasis Books, 1980); Fields of Focus (London: Anvil Press, 1982); Coming Down to Earth…(London: Oasis Books/Plymouth, England: Shearsman Books, 1990); From a High Window (London: Oasis Books, 2002); Homing (London: Oasis, 2003); Supplement to Poetry Scotland (Callandar: 2003)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English

As In

an afterlife. Brick walls repointed
how often, a few trees recognised
now large-scale, décor inside so-so,
as in my time, meant to look not old
not new. In a gap between moments
that threatens never to close again
I have no present tense. There’s no room
left in the past for more of the past.
Much has fallen into the future,
which never stops containing nothing.
It’s an oyster-catcher – screeching out
of a present tense which leaves no space
for past or future – that breaks apart
this afterlife I’m no longer in.
Once more I’m hurrying towards it.

Reprinted from Painted, spoken, no. 8 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Robin Fulton.

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