Hugh Maxton (pseudonym of W.J. McCormack) was born near Aughrim in Co Wicklow in 1947.
He lived intermittently in Hungary over a period of ten years, and has published translations into English of poems by Agnes Nemes Nagy, Sándor Wéöres, and Endre Ady.
His poetry as Hugh Maxton includes Stones (Dublin, Allen Figgis, 1970); The Noise of the Fields (Dublin, The Dolmen Press, 1976); Jubilee for Renegades Poems 1976-1980); Passage, with Surviving Poems (Bradford-on-Avon, Piper & Wolland, 1985); .At the Protestant Museum (Mountrath, The Dolmen Press, 1986); The Puzzle Tree Ascendant (Dublin, The Dedalus Press, 1988); The Engraved Passion: New and Selected Poems 1970-1991 (The Dedalus Press, 1992); Swiftmail (Dublin, The Lilliput Press, 1992); Gubu Roi: Poems and Satires (Belfast, The Lagan Press, 2000); and Poems 2000-2005 (Dublin, Carysfort Press, 2005).
His work as W.J. McCormack is voluminous, and includes Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1980); The Battle of the Books; Two Decades of Irish Cultural Debate (Mullingar, The Lilliput Press, 1986); Dissolute Characters; Irish Literary History through Balzac, Le Fanu, Yeats and Bowen (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1993); The Dublin Paper War of 1786-1788; a Bibliographical and Critical Inquiry (Dublin, Irish Academic Press, 1993); From Burke to Beckett; Tradition and Betrayal in Literary History (Cork University Press, 1994); Sheridan Le Fanu (Stroud, Alan Sutton, 1997); Fool of the Family; A Life of J. M. Synge (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson/ New York: New York University Press, 2000); and Roger Casement in Death; Or, Haunting the Free State (Dublin, University College Dublin Press, 2002).
He is a member Aosdána, and lives in Monaghan.