Rory Watson was born in Aberdeen and is a Professor in English Studies and Director of the Centre for Scottish Studies at the University of Stirling. He has been General Editor of Canongate Classics since its inception in 1987. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was chairman of The Scottish Book Trust from 1995 to 2000 and chairman of the Judges for the McVitie’s Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year (1992 - 1995).
Professor Watson has written and lectured widely on Scottish literature and cultural identity, in particular on Hugh MacDiarmid, Norman MacCaig and Edwin Morgan. His work includes The Literature of Scotland, The Poetry of Scotland, and he is co-author of The Penguin Book of the Bicycle. His own poetry has featured in various collections, as well as in numerous magazines and anthologies.