DEREK MAHON Biography - Famous Poets and dancers


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Derek Mahon                                                                           
Born 23 November 1941 (age 66)                                                         
Belfast, Northern Ireland                                                             
Occupation Poet                                                                       
Nationality Northern Irish                                                             
Genres Poetry                                                                         
Literary movement Modernism                                                           
Influences Samuel Beckett, W.B. Yeats, Louis MacNeice, W.H. Auden                     
Influenced Eavan Boland, Seamus Heaney, Eamon Grennan                                 
Derek Mahon (born 23 November 1941) is a Northern Irish poet. He was born in           
Belfast, Northern Ireland.                                                             
Mahon was born the only child of Ulster Protestant working class parents. His         
father worked at Harland and Wolff while his mother worked at a local Flax Mill.       
During his childhood, he claims he was something of a solitary dreamer,               
comfortable with his own company yet aware of the world around him.He became           
interested in literature from an early age. He attended Skegoneil Primary school       
and then the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. At the institute he                 
encountered fellow students who shared his interest in literature and poetry.         
The school produced a magazine to which Mahon produced some of his early poems.       
According to the critic Hugh Haughton his early poems were highly fluent and           
extraordinary for a person so young.                                                   
Mahon pursued third level studies at Trinity College Dublin where he edited           
Icarus, and formed many friendships with writers such as Michael Longley, Eavan       
Boland and Brendan Kennelly. He became more aware of the world around him and         
started to mature as a poet. He left Trinity in 1965 to take up studies in the         
Sorbonne in Paris.                                                                     
After leaving the Sorbonne in 1966 he worked his way through Canada and the           
United States. In 1967 he published his first collection of poems Night Crossing.     
He taught in a school in Dublin and worked in London as a free lance journalist.       
He currently lives in Kinsale, Co. Cork. On March 23, 2007 he was awarded the         
David Cohen Prize for Literature.