Paul Durcan was born in Dublin in 1944, of County Mayo parents, and studied archaeology and medieval history at University College Cork. His first book, Endsville (with Brian Lynch), appeared in 1967, and has been followed by 17 others, including O Westport in the Light of Asia Minor (1975), Teresa's Bar (1976), Sam's Cross (1978), Jesus, Break His Fall (1980), The Selected Paul Durcan (edited by Edna Longley, Poetry Ireland Choice, 1982), Jumping the Train Tracks with Angela (1983), The Berlin Wall Cafe (Poetry Book Society Choice, 1985), Going Home to Russia (1987), Daddy, Daddy (1990), Crazy about Women (1991), Christmas Day (1996), and Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999). In 1974 he won the Patrick Kavanagh Award and in 1978 and 1980 received Creative Writing Bursaries from the Arts Council. Apart from Britain and Ireland, where he reads regularly, he has read in Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, the USA (where in 1985 he was resident poet at The Frost Place, New Hampshire), Canada, Holland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, New Zealand, Israel, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Catalonia, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Japan. In October 1989 he received the Irish American Cultural Institute Poetry Award and in 1990 won the Whitbread Poetry Award. In the same year he was writer in residence at Trinity College Dublin. He is a member of Aosdana and lives in Dublin.