John Burnside has published eight previous books of poetry: The hoop, Common Knowledge, Feast Days, The Myth of the Twin, Swimming in the Flood, A Normal Skin, The Asylum Dance and most recently, The Light Trap, which was shortlisted for the 2002 T.S Eliot Prize. The Asylum Dance won the 2000 Whitbread Poetry Award and was shortlisted for both the Forward and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He has also published four novels, The Dumb House, The Mercy Boys, which was joint winner of the 1999 Encore Award, The Locust Room, Living Nowhere and a book of stories, Burning Elvis. He was born in 1955 and now lives in Fife with his wife and son.