Irish, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet known for such collections as Moy Sand and Gravel, Meeting the British, Horse Latitudes, and Hopewell Haiku. He taught poetry at Oxford University from 1999-2004.
He was the child of a school teacher and a farmer and grew up as a Catholic in a Protestant area of Northern Ireland.
He wrote opera libretti, as well as lyrics for his New Jersey-based rock band.
He wed Anne-Marie Conway in 1973. Following his divorce, he married American novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz, with whom he had two children.
He studied at Queen's University Belfast, where he made the acquaintance of fellow Irish poet Seamus Heaney.