Brian Holton, who was born in Scotland and grew up partly in Nigeria, is the son of an Irish father who was bilingual in English and French and fluent in Hausa, and a mother who was a natural Border Scots speaker: this led him to a career as a translator. After learning classical Greek, French and Latin at school, he studied Chinese at the universities of Edinburgh and Durham, two institutions where he later taught. He was the first director of the Chinese translation & interpreting program at Newcastle University, before teaching translation for ten years at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has published 15 books of Chinese poetry, and continues to translate into both English and Scots, including being principal translator on Jade Ladder, a major new anthology of contemporary poetry (2012, Bloodaxe Books). He lives in Melrose in the Scottish Borders.