Born in Dublin in 1944, he studied Archaeology and Medieval History at University College Cork. His first solo collection of poetry, O Westport in the Light of Asia Minor, won the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 1975; later collections include Teresa's Bar (1976), Sam's Cross (1978), Ark of the North (1982), Jesus, Break his Fall (1983), and Going Home to Russia (1987). The Berlin Wall Café (1985) was a choice of the London Poetry Book Society, and Daddy, Daddy (1990) won the Whitbread Poetry Prize. More recently he published Crazy About Women (1991), Give Me Your Hand (1994), Christmas Day (1996), Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999), Cries of an Irish Caveman (2001) and The Art of Life (2004). He is Ireland Professor of Poetry 2004-2007. He lives in Dublin.
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