"Her language is like the inner lining of consciousness, the inner lining of English itself, and it moves amphibiously between the dreamlife and her actual domestic and historical experience as a woman in late twentieth-century Ireland." Seamus Heaney
Medbh McGuckian was born in Belfast in 1950 and is a graduate of The Queen's University, Belfast with B.A. and M.A. degrees in English. She was the first woman to be named writer-in-residence in that university, where she now regularly teaches. McGuckian has worked as a teacher and editor for many years and lives in Belfast with her husband and four children.
The Wake Forest Press is her North American publisher, and has published On Ballycastle Beach (1988), Marconi's Cottage (1992), Captain Lavender (1995), Selected Poems (1997), and Shelmalier (1998). In 2002, Wake Forest published The Soldiers of Year II, a collection of poems including many titles from Drawing Ballerinas and The Face of the Earth, which were published in Ireland in 2001 and 2002. The Book of the Angel came out in 2004, and Wake Forest published her most recent book, The Currach Requires No Harbours, in September, 2007. Her work has been anthologized in numerous collections, including The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry, 1967-2000.
Prizes awarded McGuckian include the National Poetry Competition, The Cheltenham Award, The Rooney Prize for Literature, the Bass Ireland Award for Literature, the Eric Gregory Award, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award, and the 2002 Forward Poetry Prize. She has been published by Oxford University Press and Gallery Press in England and in Ireland.