Creative Writing Faculty

Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon headshot

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan


Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and educated in Armagh and at the Queen's University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986 he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G. B. Clark '21 Professor at Princeton University and Founding Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts. In 2007 he was appointed Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, where he is an honorary Fellow of Hertford College.

Paul Muldoon's main collections of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968-1998 (2001), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006), Maggot (2010), One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), Poems 1968-2014 (2016), and Howdie-Skelp (2021).

Muldoon is the editor of the recently released Paul McCartney boxed, two-volume set, The Lyrics:1956 to the Present, illuminating the stories behind 154 of McCartney’s song lyrics. His latest book, The Castle of Perseverance with watercolors by Philip Pearlstein, will be published in November 2022.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Paul Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature for 1996. Other recent awards are the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War."


Celebrated Irish poet awarded Freedom of the City of London | The Great Parchment Book, March 4, 2014

A Celebrated Princeton Poet Organizes a Festival of His Peers” | New York Times, April 17, 2009

Aspiring Singer Finds Mentors Behind Ivy League Walls” | New York Times, January 2011

“‘Wildly creative’ poetry program thrives at Princeton” | Princeton University, April 14, 2011

Eminent poet joins Lancaster University | Lancaster University news blog, April 2014

What I Think: Paul Muldoon” | Princeton University, July 2017

OLAGÓN — A Cantata in Doublespeak; Text by Paul Muldoon, Music by Dan Trueman

OLAGÓN Album Recording |  Cedille Records

The Bard with a Billboard Bullet Beat Hits Hopewell” | US1, Dec. 11, 2019

Paul Muldoon’s Binge wins 2020 Michael Marks Award for best poetry pamphlet published in UK | Michael Marks Awards, December 14, 2020

“A Postcard from St. Barts” by Paul Muldoon | Ploughshares, Winter 2020-21 issue

Paul McCartney to publish 900-page lyrical ‘autobiography’ edited by Paul Muldoon” | The Guardian, February 24, 2021

Beatles star Paul McCartney will publish his long-awaited memoir, edited by the poet Paul Muldoon” | Featured interview on BBC “Best of Today” podcast, February 25, 2021

Paul Muldoon has collaborated with Paul McCartney on one of the season’s big books” | Princeton University News, Nov. 2, 2021

Watch video: “The Frolics and Detours of Paul Muldoon” | PBS’ Articulate, Season 8, Episode 12, March 2022


Acclaim for The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, edited by Paul Muldoon:





Book Reviews

Review: Maggot (2010) |  The New York Review of Books

Review: Frolic and Detour (2019) | Ploughshares

Review: The Lyrics (2021) — “Entranced by Paul McCartney’s book of lyrics? Thank the great poet Paul Muldoon” | Los Angeles Times, Dec. 22, 2021


Spinal Tap 2017


Photo by Jamie Saxon

Princeton professors unpack their summer reading lists

What are we looking at?
That bit of shelf just happens to include books by two remarkable English poets, Craig Raine and Christopher Reid, who were known as the “Metaphor Men.” Together, they reintroduced the outlandish metaphor as a way of forcing us to look again at the ordinary things of the world. I often use Raine’s poem “A Martian Sends a Postcard Home” to encourage the outré in my students. To have them look again at the bicycle, say, which appears in that photograph on the shelf of my maternal grandfather, Frank Regan. The bicycle may be the only clue the photo was taken in the 1940s rather than the 1840s.

What’s on your summer reading list?
My reading this summer includes a lot of rereading but the new books I’ve stacked against myself are mostly nonfiction. Two of those are Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann and The Rhinoceros and the Megatherium by Juan Pimentel.

This content is courtesy of Jamie Saxon, Princeton University Office of Communications.

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