Born in Dublin in 1952 and educated at University College Dublin, Harry Clifton left Ireland in the nineteen seventies to lecture at a teacher training college in post Civil War Nigeria, and later worked in the Far East administering aid programmes for Indo-Chinese refugees in Thailand. He returned to Ireland in 1982.
In 1987 he married the Irish novelist Deirdre Madden and moved to Italy, a time documented in his prose memoir ‘On the Spine of Italy‘. Subsequently they lived in Switzerland, England and Germany, before settling in Paris for ten years. In 2004, he returned to Ireland, and has been teaching at University College Dublin until last year.
His collections of poems include ‘The Desert Route; Selected Poems 1973-1988‘ and ‘Secular Eden; Paris Notebooks 1994-2004‘. His work, which has won numerous awards and distinctions, has been translated into several European languages. He believes the true home of the poet is ‘not in a place, but in the language itself.’