Michael Donaghy, poet, musician, critic, and editor, was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1954 and moved to Britain in 1985. He taught at City University and Birkbeck College and he was a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society for the Arts.
His published collections include Shibboleth (Oxford University Press 1988) which won the Whitbread Prize for Poetry and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and Errata (OUP 1993) for which he received an Arts Council Writers’ Award and an award from the Ingram Merrill Foundation. Both of these volumes were published together as Dances Learned Last Night (Picador 2000). His collection, Conjure (Picador 2000), a Poetry Book Society Choice, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Whitbread Prizes, and won the Forward Prize. Other projects included Wallflowers, a lecture on poetry with misplaced notes and additional heckling (a Poetry Society monograph), and a film, Habit, in collaboration with the director Miranda Pennel and the actress Fiona Shaw.
Michael also worked as a musician and composer within the genre of Irish traditional music.