Derek Mahon was born in Belfast in 1941. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and worked as a journalist and academic. He was the author of many collections of poetry, including several works of translation, and wrote extensively for the theatre. His books included Night Crossing, The Snow Party, The Hudson Letter, The Yellow Book, Harbour Lights and Life on Earth. He received numerous awards including a Lannan Award and the Scot Moncrieff Translation Prize. He died in 2020.