W. N. Herbert was born in 1961 in Dundee, Scotland and was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford where he published his D.Phil thesis on the Scots poet Hugh MacDiarmid with OUP in 1992. In 2000, he edited the best-selling anthology Strong Words: Modern Poets on Modern Poetry with Matthew Hollis. He has published seven volumes of poetry and four pamphlets, and is widely anthologised. His last five collections, all with the northern publisher Bloodaxe Books, have won numerous accolades. His most recent collection from Bloodaxe, Bad Shaman Blues, appeared in March 2006 and was a PBS Recommendation. He edited and contributed to the anthology A Balkan Exchange (Arc, 2007) and Three Men on the Metro, his collaborative collection with Andy Croft and Paul Summers, appeared in 2009.