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Robyn Marsack

Robyn Marsack was born in Wellington, New Zealand and came to the UK to study English Literature at the University of Oxford. Upon completion of her DPhil, she continued at the university as a Junior Research Fellow. During her research she noticed that Edmund Blunden’s poetry was out of print, and approached Carcanet to gauge their interest in publishing his work. Michael Schmidt invited her to edit a volume of poems and thus a long-standing association was formed. Shortly after publishing Edmund Blunden’s Selected Poems in 1982, Marsack was offered a job with Carcanet, initially in sales and marketing and later as editor. Whilst working as a full-time editor at Carcanet, she was encouraged to translate from French and subsequently won the Scott-Moncrieff Prize in 1988 for her translation of the Swiss-French travel writer Nicolas Bouvier’s The Scorpion-Fish. Her other translations include Mademoiselle: Conversations With Nadia Boulanger (Carcanet, 1985) and Alexander Blok: a Life (Carcanet, 1996). She moved to Scotland with her husband and worked as a freelance publisher’s editor for Carcanet and publishers such as Macmillan, Edinburgh University Press and Yale University Press. In 2000, she became Director of the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh and initiated a small publishing programme, including some translation volumes co-published with Carcanet. On leaving the Scottish Poetry Library in 2016, she returned to editing Blunden’s work, publishing a Selected Poems in 2018 in the Carcanet Classics series. In 2019, she edited a book to celebrate Carcanet’s  fiftieth anniversary: Fifty-Fifty: Carcanet’s jubilee in letters.

Interview 11 August 2018