Richard McKane was born in 1947. Educated at Marlborough, and then Oxford, where he studied Russian. His first publication as translator was Selected Poems of Anna Akhmatova (Penguin/OUP, 1969; republished as an expanded version by Bloodaxe in
McKane lived in Turkey for six years in the 1970s. In 1978 he was awarded the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. There he met his former wife, Elizabeth, with whom he later published Mandelstam’s Moscow and Voronezh Notebooks.
For over 18 years he worked for the Care of Victims of Torture at the Medical Foundation as an interpreter from, and into, Turkish and Russian.
As translator, alongside Ruth Christie, he brought out two selections of Oktay Rifat’s work, Voices of Memory and Poems; and, with Tâlat Halman, Beyond the Walls: Poems of Nâzým Hikmet. He has also translated the work of Nikolai Gumilyov, Olga Sedakova and Aronzon.
His poetry collections include: Turkey Poems and Coffee House Poems (both bilingual Turkish publications), Amphora for Metaphors (Gnosis, New York, 1993) and Out of the Cold Blue: Poems 1999-1967 (Hearing Eye, 2009).