Roddy Lumsden

(1966 / St Andrews, Scotland)

Biography of Roddy Lumsden

Roddy Lumsden poet

Roddy Lumsden (born 1966) is a Scottish poet, who was born in St Andrews. He has published seven collections of poetry, a number of chapbooks and a collection of trivia, as well as editing a generational anthology of British and Irish poets of the 1990s and 2000s, Identity Parade, among other anthologies.
He lives in London where he teaches for The Poetry School and independently. He has done editing work on several prize-winning poetry collections and the Pilot series of chapbooks by poets under 30 for Tall Lighthouse. He is organiser and host of the monthly reading series BroadCast in London. Between 2010 and 2013, he was Poetry Editor for Salt Publishing, for whom he is also the Series Editor of The Best British Poetry anthologies.

Lumsden is former Vice Chairman of the Poetry Society of Great Britain. He was awarded an Arts Council of England International Fellowship at the Banff Centre in Ontario in 2001 and has also carried out several residency projects, including being poet-in-residence to the music industry and in a five-star hotel and golf resort. He also works as a puzzle and quiz writer and a popular reference compiler and editor. In 2014 he became a regular team member on Radio 4's long running show Round Britain Quiz, representing Scotland alongside crime writer Val McDermid. They won the 2014 series.

Lumsden received an Eric Gregory Award in 1991. His first book Yeah Yeah Yeah was shortlisted for the Forward Prize in the Best First Collection section. His second collection The Book of Love was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Roddy Lumsden is Dead followed in 2001, then Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems which was a PBS Recommendation and, in 2009, then Third Wish Wasted, poems from which were awarded the Bess Hokin Prize by the Poetry Foundation. A sixth collection, Terrific Melancholy, was issued in 2011, followed by Not All Honey in 2014. Updates


'She was right. I had to find something new.
There was only one thing for it.'

My mother told it straight, London will finish you off,
and I'd heard what Doctor Johnson said, When a man is tired
of London, he is tired of life, but I'd been tired of life

for fourteen years; Scotland, never thoroughly enlightened,
was gathering back its clutch of medieval wonts

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