Robyn Marsack published her first two books – a selection of Edmund Blunden’s poems and a critical study of Louis MacNeice’s poetry, The Cave of Making (OUP, 1982) – while a Junior Research fellow at Oxford University. Blunden led her to Carcanet Press, where she began her editorial apprenticeship, working on books and the house journal PN Review. Alongside her immersion in the world of literary publishing, she was encouraged to try her hand at translation from French. After moving to Scotland with her husband, she became a freelance publishers’ editor, working for Carcanet and also educational publishers such as Macmillan, EUP and Yale University Press. The Open University Press published her study Sylvia Plath in 1992. Scotland gave her the opportunity to review poetry and prose for newspapers and journals.
Robyn Marsack won the Scott-Moncrieff Prize in 1988 for her translation of the Swiss-French travel writer Nicolas Bouvier’s The Scorpion-Fish, and went on to translate his classic L’Usage du Monde / The Way of the World (Eland, 2007).
She became Director of the Scottish Poetry Library in 2000, which required a variety of writing, from blogs to business plans. She inaugurated its publishing programme, edited several poetry anthologies, and enjoyed facilitating poetry translation workshops. Having stepped down as Director in 2016, she is returning to translating Bouvier and editing a new edition of Blunden’s poetry, as well as continuing First World War research in connection with her NZ soldier-grandfather’s diary. Born in New Zealand, she has lived in Glasgow for 30 years.