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Paul Muldoon

1951- , Portadpwn , United Kingdom
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Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon was born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1951. He studied at Queen's University, Belfast, and has worked for BBC Belfast as a radio and television producer.

His most recent book of poetry is Maggot (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). Before that, he published Plan B (Enitharmon 2009), a collaboration with the photographer Norman McBeath, as well as When the Pie was Opened (Sylph Editions, 2008), General Admission (The Gallery Press, 2006), Horse Latitudes (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007), and Moy Sand and Gravel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), which won the Pulitzer Prize, among others.

He has also written libretti for the operas Bandanna (1999) and Shining Brow (1993); the play Six Honest Serving Men (1995); and edited The Faber Book of Beasts (1997), The Essential Byron (1989), and The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry (1986).

Muldoon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990, the T. S. Eliot Award for The Annals of Chile 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.

Muldoon has taught at a number of British and American universities including Cambridge University, Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Massachusetts. He is currently Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University and professor of poetry at the University of Oxford.

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I.

I gave you back my claim on the mining town
and the rich vein we once worked,
the tumble down
from a sluice box that irked

you so much, the narrow gauge
that opened up to one and all
when it ran out at the landing stage
beyond the falls.

I gave you back oak ties,
bully flitches, the hand-hewn