Paul Durcan was born in Dublin in 1944 and 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 Cafe (1985) was a choice of the London Poetry Book Society and Daddy, Daddy (1990) won the Whitbread Poetry Prize. Other publications include 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), The Art of Life (2004), The Laughter of Mothers (2007), Life is a Dream: 40 Years Writing Poems 1967- 2007 (2009), Praise In Which I Live and Move and Have My Being (2012), The Days of Surprise (2015) and Wild, Wild Erie (2016). Paul Durcan was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Irish Book Award 2014. He is a member of Aosdana and lives in Dublin and Mayo. Paul Durcan was Ireland Professor or Poetry 2004-7.
Three Great European Poets is part of UCD Press's The Poet's Chair series, publishing the public lectures of the Ireland Professors of Poetry. The Ireland Chair of Poetry was established in 1998 following the award of the Nobel Prize of Literature to Seamus Heaney and is supported by Queen's University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Arts Counci 1/An Chomhairle Ealaion. Other poets in the series include John Montague, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Michael Longley, Harry Clifton and Paula Meehan. In his volume of The Poet's Chair Paul Durcan examines the work and impact of Irish poets Anthony Cronin, Michael Hartnett and Harry Clifton and places them in a European context. He focuses on Cronin's The End of the Modern World, Hartnett's Sibelius in Silence and Clifton's Vaucluse in this insightful volume.
The Mystery of Harry Clifton