Paul Muldoon

1951 –

Paul Muldoon was born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1951. He studied at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Muldoon’s books of poetry include The Castle of Perseverance (Enitharmon Editions, 2022), with watercolors by the American realist painter Philip Pearlstein; Howdie-Skelp (Faber & Faber, 2021); Selected Poems 1968–2014 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016); One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015); Maggot (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010); Horse Latitudes (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007); and Moy Sand and Gravel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), which won the Pulitzer Prize, among other awards.

Muldoon has also written libretti for the operas Bandanna (1999) and Shining Brow (1993), and penned the play Six Honest Serving Men (1995). He edited The Faber Book of Beasts (Faber & Faber, 1997); The Essential Byron (HarperCollins, 1989); and The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry (Faber & Faber, 1986). He also served as the editor for Paul McCartney’s boxed, two-volume set, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, for which Muldoon provided context for McCartney’s song lyrics.

Muldoon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990, the T. S. Eliot Award for The Annals of Chile (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1995) in 1994, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature in 1996, and the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for his New Selected Poems (Faber & Faber Poetry, 1996) in 1996. In 2003, he won the Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry. In 2017, he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. 

In 2007, Muldoon served as poetry editor for The New Yorker. He has taught at a number of British and American universities, including Cambridge University, Columbia University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Massachusetts. He served as a professor of poetry at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004, where he was an honorary fellow of Hertford College, and is currently Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University, professor of creative writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts, the director of Princeton Atelier, and co-chair of the Fund for Irish Studies. From 1973 to 1986, he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Muldoon lives in New York City and Sharon Springs, New York.