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Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson


Born in Salford, Lancashire, England in 1953. He grew up in Liverpool and went to university at York and Cambridge. During the 1970s and 1980s he taught for various institutions, edited two poetry magazines, Perfect Bound and Numbers, and was involved in organizing a number of poetry festivals. From 1989 he taught English literature in Japan, first at Kyoto University, then for fourteen years at Tohoku University, Sendai, and once more in Kyoto. In April 2007 he became Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Reading (UK). Married with two daughters.

contact: School of English and American Literature
University of Reading
Whiteknights PO Box 217
Reading Berkshire RG6 6AH



Stoke Newington, London, 2005

This recording was made on 19 July 2005, at Peter Swaab's house in Stoke Newington, north London.



  • The Benefit Forms (Lobby Press, 1978)
  • Going Out to Vote (Many Press, 1978)
  • A Part of Rosemary Laxton (Privately printed, 1979)
  • Overdrawn Account (Many Press, 1980)
  • Anaglypta (Many Press, 1985)
  • This Other Life (Carcanet Press, 1988)
  • More About the Weather (Robert Jones, 1989)
  • Entertaining Fates (Carcanet Press, 1992)
  • Leaf-Viewing (Robert Jones, 1992)
  • Lost and Found (Carcanet Press, 1997)
  • Via Sauro Variations (Ridgeback Press, 1999)
  • About Time Too (Carcanet Press, 2001)
  • Anywhere You Like (Pine Wave Press, 2003)
  • Selected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2003)
  • Ghost Characters (Shoestring Press, 2006)
  • There are Avenues (Brodie Press, 2006)

Poetry in Translation

  • After Chardin: Selected Poems 1975-1995, trans. Takao Furukawa (Shimyakusha, 1996)
  • L'attaccappanni e altre poesie, trans. Ornella Trevisan and the author (Moretti & Vitali, 2004)


  • Untitled Deeds (Salt, 2004)


  • Six Poems by Ungaretti (Plain Wrapper Press, 1980) with Marcus Perryman
  • The Disease of the Elm and Other Poems by Vittorio Sereni (Many Press, 1983) with Marcus Perryman
  • Selected Poems of Vittorio Sereni (Anvil Press, 1990) with Marcus Perryman
  • When I was at my Most Beautiful and Other Poems by Noriko Ibaragi 1953-1982 (Skate Press, 1992) with Fumiko Horikawa
  • The Great Friend and Other Translated Poems (Worple Press, 2002)
  • The Greener Meadow: Selected Poems of Luciano Erba (Princeton University Press, 2006)
  • Selected Poetry and Prose of Vittorio Sereni (University of Chicago Press, 2006) with Marcus Perryman


  • In the Circumstances: About Poetry and Poets (Oxford, 1992)
  • Poetry, Poets, Readers: Making Things Happen (Oxford, 2002)
  • Twentieth Century Poetry: Selves and Situations (Oxford, 2005)


  • Talk about Poetry: Conversations on the Art (Shearsman, 2006)


  • Geoffrey Hill: Essays on his Work (Open University Press, 1985)
  • Liverpool Accents: Seven Poets and a City (Liverpool, 1996)
  • The Thing about Roy Fisher: Essays on his Work (Liverpool, 2000) with John Kerrigan
  • News for the Ear: A Homage to Roy Fisher (with Robert Sheppard)
  • Mairi MacInnes: A Tribute (Shoestring, 2005)


  • Salt Companion to Peter Robinson, ed. Adam Piette and Katy Price (Salt, 2006)

Sample Text


In another town you turn a corner,
but it's not there any more --
the place with hunting pieces, flagons,
a close-hung mish-mash of daubs and prints.

Here clean breasts were made, minds spoken --
our waiter boning fish, all
genial, patient, hardly bothered
if once more we proved the last to leave.


But dust has gathered
on lintel and sill;
restoration work this morning's
at a standstill...

I squint through smeared windows,
see grayness, a gray
of no menus, mementos,
no things.


And I see how the vacant ex-restaurant
through its cloud of chalk
is like nothing so much as a sea shell
in which you catch talk
that talked and went so far with distant
wave-forms broken on the shore
of others' minds like swell, swell
echoing from the years before.


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