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Biography



Don Paterson was born in 1963 in Dundee, Scotland. He moved to London in 1984 to work as a jazz musician, and began writing poetry around the same time.

His collections of poetry are Nil Nil (Faber, 1993), God’s Gift to Women (Faber, 1997), The Eyes (after Antonio Machado, Faber, 1999), Landing Light (Faber, 2003; Graywolf, 2004), Orpheus (a version of Rilke’s Die Sonette an Orpheus, Faber, 2006) and Rain (Faber, 2009; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).

He has published two books of aphorism, The Book of Shadows (Picador, 2004) and The Blind Eye (Faber, 2007), and a compendium, Best Thought, Worst Thought (Graywolf, 2008). He has also edited a number of anthologies.

His poetry has won a number of awards, including the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award, and the T S Eliot Prize on two occasions. Most recently, Rain won the 2009 Forward prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the English Association; he received the OBE in 2008 and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010.

He teaches poetry at the University of St Andrews, and since 1996 has been poetry editor at Picador MacMillan. He continues to perform and compose.

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