Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and educated in Armagh and at the Queen’s University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986, he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. Between 1999 and 2004, he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. The End Of The Poem, a collection of his Oxford lectures, was published in 2006. Paul Muldoon’s collections of poetry are New Weather (1973); Mules (1977); Why Brownlee Left (1980); Quoof (1983); Meeting The British (1987); Madoc: A Mystery (1990); The Annals of Chile (1994); Hay (1998); Poems 1998-1998 (2001); Moy Sand and Gravel (2002); for which he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize; Horse Latitudes (2006); Maggot (2010); The Word on the Street (2013); and his most recent collection, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing: Poems (FSG, 2015), shortlisted for the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Paul Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in literature in 1996. Other awards are the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, and the 2004 Shakespeare Prize. He is the current Poetry Editor of the New Yorker Magazine.
Muldoon has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.” It has been written about his poems that they “remind us of the Elizabethan’s definition of wit, a deadly serious form of play that encompassed far more than mere humor, but included originality and ingenuity, particularly in the forging of concise and startlingly appropriate phrases to capture the paradoxes of human experience. These paradoxes are at play in many of Muldoon’s poems, which will often share classical forms out of the most common street slang, or tackle metaphysical questions with the language of advertising slogan and pop records.”