Edwin Morgan was born in Glasgow in 1920, first starting to write while at Glasgow High School. He studied English at Glasgow University, but his studies were interrupted by the Second World War, during which he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He returned to University after the War and graduated in 1947.
From 1947-1980 he taught English at Glasgow University, becoming Professor of English in 1975. During this time time he produced a major body of poetry and critical essays. He has also written plays, libretti, and several works of translation. He has travelled widely since the 1950s and has translated poetry from many languages, particularly Russian, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian and French. In the 1960s he experimented with concrete poetry and also championed Beat Poetry. His translations have includedEdmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1992) and Jean Racine: Phaedra (2000). He has translated many poets into Scots including Mayakovsky, Racine and Neruda. In 1996 his Collected Translations were published and his Collected Poems re-published.
In 2000, his first original dramatic work, A.D.: A Trilogy of Plays on the Life of Jesus, was published and appeared on stage in Glasgow.
Edwin Morgan has been awarded several honorary degrees and an OBE in 1982. In 2000 he won the Queen's Gold Medal and in 2001 the Weidenfeld Prize for Translation for Jean Racine: Phaedra. He became Glasgow's first Poet Laureate in 1999 and A Glasgow International Writing Festival has been named From Glasgow To Saturn after one of his poetry collections. In February 2004 Edwin Morgan was appointed 'Scots Makar' - National Poet for Scotland.
His collection A Book of Lives (2007), was shortlisted for the 2007 T. S. Eliot Prize, and his latest collection Beyond the Sun (2007), is a series of poems on paintings.