James Robertson

James Robertson is a novelist, poet, editor and translator, working in English and Scots and writing for adults as well as younger readers. His most recent poetry collections are the pamphlets Hem and Heid (2009) and When the Ile Rins Oot (2014), both published by Kettillonia, the imprint he established in 1999. His latest novel is To Be Continued (Hamish Hamilton, 2016).


Photo: Marianne Mitchelson


Past & Present »

Aonghas MacNeacaill on Neruda
James Robertson on Hugh Miller

Sat 4 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | £4.00/£3.00 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber


Cromarty Man (c.1837)

Hugh Miller splits another prehistoric page:
Bird tracks like pressed flowers, fish bones
That are diagrams of death, in a book made long
Before his God first thought of him. Miller
Recreates the species, draws lines between them:
No humanoid amphibians crawl from slime,
No blue-arsed Lord Monboddo swings through trees,
Pursued by midwives. But the old coastline beyond
The receded sea rises like the half-dry knowledge
Of his half-drowned fear; and his poised hammer
Is the relic of that pirate ancestor whose ghost
He saw in childhood once, above him on the stair.


James Robertson