Robert Crawford has supervised many graduate research theses on topics including T S Eliot, Scottish Literature, Creative Writing, and Modern and Contemporary Poetry. He enjoys working with PhD students who would like to publish their thesis as a book. So far, a good number of his PhD students have done so.



The Book of Iona: An Anthology (Edinburgh: Polygon 2016)

Young Elliot (London: Jonathan Cape, 2015)

Bannockburns: Scottish Independence and Literary Imagination, 1314-2014 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014)

Testament (London: Jonathan Cape, 2014)

On Glasgow and Edinburgh (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press, 2013)

Simonides (with photographs by Norman McBeath) (Edinburgh: Easel Press, 2011)

The Beginning and the End of the World; St Andrews, Scandal and the Birth of Photography (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2011)

The Bard: Robert Burns, A Biography (London: Jonathan Cape, 2009; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009)

Scotland's Books, A History of Scottish Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009) - revised US edition of 2007 Penguin title

The Best Laid Schemes: Selected Poetry and Prose of Robert Burns, ed., with Christopher MacLachlan (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2009; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009)

New Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, ed. (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2009)

Full Volume (London: Cape, 2008), shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize

Scotland's Books: The Penguin History of Scottish Literature (London: Penguin, 2007) Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year and selected by Karl Miller as a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year

Contemporary Poetry and Contemporary Science, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Apollos of the North: Selected Poems of George Buchanan and Arthur Johnston, ed. and trans. (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2006)

Selected Poems (London: Cape, 2005), Poetry Book Society Special Recommendation

The Book of St Andrews, ed. (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2005)

The Tip of My Tongue (London: Cape, 2003) Poetry Book Society Recommendation

'Heaven-Taught Fergusson': Robert Burns's Favourite Scottish Poet, ed. (East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2003)

The Modern Poet: Poetry, Academia and Knowledge since the 1750s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001; paperback, 2004)

The New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse, ed. with Mick Imlah (London: Penguin, 2000; paperback, 2001). In 2006 this entered the Penguin Classics series as The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. Selected by Les Murray as a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year

Devolving English Literature, Second Edition (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000). This contains an additional chapter not in the original OUP edition.

Scottish Religious Poetry, ed. with Meg Bateman and James McGonigal (Edinburgh: St Andrew Press, 2000)

Spirit Machines (London: Cape, 1999) Selected by Marina Warner as a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year

Impossibility (Hamburg: Hirundo Press, 1998)

The Scottish Invention of English Literature, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998; paperback, 2008)

The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945, ed. with Simon Armitage (London: Viking, 1998; paperback, Penguin, 1999)

Robert Burns and Cultural Authority, ed. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997; Iowa City: Iowa University Press, 1997; paperback, Edinburgh: Polygon, 1999)

Launch-Site for English Studies: Three Centuries of Literary Studies at the University of St Andrews, ed. (St Andrews: Verse, 1997)

Masculinity (London: Cape, 1996) Poetry Book Society Recommendation

Literature in Twentieth-Century Scotland: A Select Bibliography (London: British Council, 1995)

Talking Verse: Interviews with Poets, ed. with Henry Hart, David Kinloch, Richard Price (St Andrews and Williamsburg, VA: Verse, 1995)

Identifying Poets: Self and Territory in Twentieth-Century Poetry (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1993) Scottish Arts Council Book Award

Liz Lochhead's Voices, ed. with Anne Varty (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1993)

Talkies (London: Chatto and Windus, 1992) Poetry Book Society Recommendation

Devolving English Literature (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992; paperback, 1993)

Reading Douglas Dunn, ed. with David Kinloch (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992)

The Arts of Alasdair Gray, ed. with Thom Nairn (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991)

A Scottish Assembly (London: Chatto and Windus, 1990) Poetry Book Society Recommendation

Sharawaggi: Poems in Scots, with W. N. Herbert (Edinburgh: Polygon, 1990)

Other Tongues: Young Scottish Poets in English, Scots and Gaelic, ed. (St Andrews: Verse, 1990)

About Edwin Morgan, ed. with Hamish Whyte (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1990; paperback, 1990)

The Savage and the City in the Work of T S Eliot (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987; paperback, 1988)

Young Eliot
On Glasgow and Edinburgh
 The beginning and end of the world
 Scotland's Books
 The Best Laid Schemes
 New Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect
 Full Volume
 Book of Scottish Verse
 Selected Poems


Over the years Robert has reviewed for a variety of newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, Herald, Independent, London Review of Books, Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Scottish Review of Books, Sunday Times, and Times Literary Supplement.


Robert has published some very fugitive poetry pamphlets as well as many articles and book chapters on topics ranging from Renaissance literature to contemporary literature. From 1984-1995 he was a founding editor of Verse magazine; he was also for several years an editor of Scottish Literary Review, on whose board he remains. He has scripted and presented many radio programmes for the BBC and has occasionally appeared on television.

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Prof Robert Crawford

Education and Experience

Born in Lanarkshire, Robert Crawford studied and taught at Glasgow and Oxford, moving to St Andrews in 1989. He has published seven collections of poetry and over three dozen other books. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the British Academy, he has given readings and lectures at Berkeley, Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford and Yale as well as in schools and village halls (smallest audience: four adults and a baby). An experienced broadcaster, he has been a judge of the National Poetry Competition, the T S Eliot Prize, and the David Cohen Prize. He has served as Head of School, as Director of Research, and as a member of the University Court.

Research Interests

Robert Crawford's most recent collection of poems is Testament (published by Cape in 2014), shortly after his prose book Bannockburns: Scottish Independence and Literary Imagination, 1314-2014 (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). 2015 saw the publication by Jonathan Cape and Farrar, Straus & Giroux of Young Eliot, the first volume of his two-volume biography of T. S. Eliot. Other recent books include Chinese Makars (google it) and The Book of Iona (Polygon, 2016), an anthology of stories and poems about the Hebridean island. Ongoing research interests include T. S. Eliot, Scottish poetry, creative writing, poetry and libraries, and poetry and science. From 2014-16 Robert led the Royal Society of Edinburgh-supported Arts and Humanities Research Network, 'Loch Computer'.

Professor Robert Crawford

Contact information

Room: CH 41
Phone: 2680

Consultation hours:
On research leave for session 2018-19

Research Profile on PURE

School role

Director of Research:
Policy, Publications, Grants

Library Representative