Kenneth White is one of the most daring of Europe's writers, thinkers and teachers. Born in the Gorbals area of Glasgow, he spent his childhood and adolescence near Largs on the Ayrshire coast, where his father worked as a railway signalman. He obtained a double first in French and German from the University of Glasgow and from 1959-63, White studied at the University of Paris, where he obtained a state doctorate. White purchased "Gourgounel", an old farm in the Ardéche region of France, where he could spend the summers and autumns studying and working on what would become Letters from Gourgounel.
In 1963, White returned to the University of Glasgow, where he lectured in French literature until 1967. Then, disillusioned by the contemporary British literary and poetry scene, White resigned from the University and moved to south-west France, where he held the chair of 20th Century Poetics, later founding the International Institute of Geopoetics which now has centres in various countries.