Douglas Skinner was born in 1949 in the South African town of Upington and grew up in Cape Town, Grahamstown, Kimberley and East London. He studied Philosophy and English at Rhodes before working in mining, prospecting & drilling, insurance, acting, radio and publishing in South Africa; the analysis & design of commercial information systems in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America; print design, the wine trade and building in the United Kingdom. He has lived in Cape Town, New York, San Francisco and London. He edited the South African literary journals Upstream, New Contrast and SA Literary Review. He founded The Carrefour Press (Cape Town) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He has published five collections of poems and one collection of translations. Together with Marco Fazzini, he was awarded joint-First Prize in the 1995 British Comparative Literature Association, Open Translation Prize for a selection of translations from the work of the Italian poet, Valerio Magrelli. A selection of his poems, Heaven: New & Selected Poems (Left Field Poetry, Cape Town), appeared in May 2014. His poems, translations, criticism and book reviews have appeared in South African, British, American, French and Italian publications. At present, he lives in London with his partner, Hilary Ivory and his son, Harry.