Born in Dublin in 1947, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of Oslo. He has been a lecturer at TCD, a professor at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and has since been a full-time writer for many years. His poetry collections include An Bhliain Bhisigh (The Leap Year, 1978), Runga (Rungs of Time, 1980), Cumann (Belonging, 1982), Springnight (1983), The Image Wheel (1985), The Chosen Garden (1990), The Middle Voice (1992), Hail! Madam Jazz: New and Selected Poems (1992), A Fragile City (1995), Our Double Time (1998), Poems 1975-1995 (1999), The Gossamer Wall (2002), Love Life (2005) and Globe (2007). He won the Irish-American Cultural Institute's literary prize in 1982, and the Marten Toonder Award in 1988. His poem sequences - The Naked Flame, Summerfest, Crosslight, The Earlsfort Suite and Dublin Spring - were commissioned and set to music for performance and broadcasting. Collections of his work have been published in several languages, including Japanese and German.
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