Robin Skelton was born in Yorkshire and educated at the University of Leeds. He taught from 1963 until his death at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, where he founded the Department of Creative Writing and, together with the late John Peter, The Malahat Review. He wrote or edited over seventy books in the various fields of poetry, fiction, biography, drama, translation and the occult. He co-authored with Margaret Blackwood Earth, Air, Fire, Water, published by Arkana, and also edited Poetry of the Forties for Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics. Robin Skelton died in 1997.
He wrote in his introduction: 'I wonder...whether these poems did not help to turn men's minds towards the creation of the welfare state after the war. Have they any responsibility for the new wave of social comment in the novel and in poetry at present? These are unanswerable questions, but it is time to ask them, and to make some attempt to understand and appreciate the work of that period of unease, threatened by war as we are threatened, troubled by social and racial conflicts as we are troubled, and to wonder whether or not an anthology of this kind is a piece of literary history, or an illumination of our own present discomforts.'