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Meet the Authors

Brian Holton

Brian Holton, born in Galashiels in 1949, and educated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham, has published more than twenty books and pamphlets of translated poetry, including Yang Lian’s Venice Elegy (Edizioni Damocle, 2019) and Narrative Poem (Bloodaxe Books, 2017). In 2021, he was awarded the inaugural Sarah McGuire Prize for Poetry Translation for Yang Lian’s Anniversary Snow (Shearsman Books, 2019). Holton’s collection of classical poems in Scots, Staunin Ma Lane, was published by Shearsman Books in 2016, and his Hard Roads an Cauld Hairst Winds: Li Bai an Du Fu in Scots by Taproot Press in early 2022. Hard Roads an Cauld Hairst Winds was nominated for Scots Book of the Year, Scots Language Awards 2022.

He has won other prizes both for his own poetry in Scots and for his translations into both Scots and English. He is a recovering academic who taught Chinese language and literature at Edinburgh, Durham and Newcastle, and translation at Newcastle and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has given lectures, readings and workshops at universities and major literary festivals in the UK, Spain, Italy, Holland, New Zealand, China, the USA, and Canada. He lives in Melrose in the Scottish Borders, close to where he was born.


Author's books

Aa Cled Wi Clouds She Cam


60 LYRICS FRAE THE CHINESE:Translations in Scots and English


Brian Holton is unique in that he can translate directly into Scots from the Chinese. This anthology consists of translations into Scots and English of the first sixty poems of the standard anthology Song Ci Sanbaishou (“300 Sòng Dynasty Song Lyrics”), edited by Zhu Zumou (1924), with a Translator’s Afterword/Owresetter’s Eftirword.