Christopher Pilling was born in Birmingham and taught French and P.E on the Wirral, in a Quaker boarding school and a large Comprehensive in Yorkshire before moving to Keswick, Cumbria, where he taught French, German and Latin. He was a prize-winner in the National Poetry Competition and has published nine collections of his own poetry, as well as translations of poems by Tristan Corbière (a Book of the Year for the Sunday Telegraph and the World Service of the BBC in 1995), Max Jacob and Lucien Becker (a PBS Recommended Translation in 2004). He has also written a number of plays. With William Scammell, he founded a Cumbrian Poets' workshop which has run for thirty years, and has seen two of his plays performed at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. In 2006, Christopher Pilling won first prize in the John Dryden Translation Competition, one of the UK's most prestigious translation awards.