Derek Mahon was born in Belfast in 1941.
His poetry collections are Night-Crossing (UK, Oxford University Press, 1968); Lives (OUP,1972); The Snow Party (OUP, 1975); Poems 1962-1978 (OUP, 1979); Courtyards in Delft (OUP, 1981); The Hunt By Night (OUP, 1982); Antarctica (Oldcastle, Co Meath, Gallery Books, 1985); Selected Poems (Oldcastle, Co Meath, The Gallery Press, 1990); Selected Poems, (London & New York, Viking, and The Gallery Press, in association with OUP, 1991); The Yaddo Letter (The Gallery Press, limited edition of 350 copies, with a frontispiece by Barrie Cooke, 1992); The Yellow Book (The Gallery Press, 1997); The Hudson Letter (The Gallery Press, 1995, USA, Wake Forest University Press, 1996); Collected Poems (The Gallery Press, 1999); Harbour Lights (The Gallery Press, 2005); Life on Earth (The Gallery Press, 2008), for which he was awarded the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, 2008; An Autumn Wind (The Gallery Press, 2010); New Collected Poems (The Gallery Press, 2011); and Rising Late (The Gallery Press, 2017).
His translations include The Chimeras [a version of Les Chimères, by Nerval] (The Gallery Press); High Time [a version of Molière’s A School for Husbands](The Gallery Press, 1985); The Selected Poems of Philippe Jaccottet (London & New York, Viking, 1988); The Baccae of Euripedes, Racine’s Phaedra (The Gallery Press, 1996); and Raw Material, new adaptationsof European poets ancient and modern (The Gallery Press, 2011). Cyrano de Bergarac (The Gallery Press, 2004), a version of the French classic, was commissioned by the National Theatre, London. His collected translations are published as Echo’s Grove (The Gallery Press, 2013).
His screenplays include Summer Lightning [based on Turgenev’s First Love] (RTÉ/Channel 4, 1985), and his prose is collected as Journalism (The Gallery Press, 1996).
His honors include the Irish American Foundation Award; a Lannan Foundation Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; The Irish Times/Aer Lingus Poetry Prize, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award;The C.K. Scott Moncreiff Translation Prize for his translation of The Selected Poems of Philippe Jaccottet; the Eric Gregory Award; and The David Cohen Prize for Literature (2007).
He is a member of Aosdána and lives in Dublin.