John Montague was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1929 and educated in Northern Ireland, Dublin and the US. He has taught in France, America and in Ireland (at UCD and UCC). He co-founded Claddagh Records, and became president of Poetry Ireland in 1979.
John Montague’s Collected Poems appeared in 1995, the year he received the American Ireland Fund Literary Award. Other recent Gallery Books include Drunken Sailor (2004), Speech Lessons (2011) and New Collected Poems (2012). Second Childhood (2017), a posthumous collection, was published on what would have been his 88th birthday, a windfall from one of Ireland’s revered and best loved poets.
Winner of the Marten Toonder Award in 1977, a Guggenheim fellowship in 1980, and the Ireland Funds Literary Award in 1995, in 1998 John Montague became the first Ireland Professor of Poetry, and in 2010 the French State honoured him as a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards in 2016.
He is also the author of the story collections An Occasion of Sin (1992) and Death of a Chieftain (1964), as well as the novella The Lost Notebook (1987), the essay collection The Figure in the Cave(1989), and the memoirs Company (2001), Born in Brooklyn (1991) and The Pear is Ripe (2007).
John Montague died in Nice on 10 December 2016.