Ciaran Carson was born in 1948 in Belfast, where he lives. He worked in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland from 1975 to 1998, with responsibility for Traditional Music, and, more latterly, Literature. In October 2003 he was appointed Professor of Poetry and Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's University, Belfast. He is the author of nine collections of poems, including The Irish for No, Belfast Confetti, The Twelfth of Never, First Language, Opera Et Cetera and Breaking News. His translations include The Alexandrine Plan, The Midnight Court, The Inferno of Dante Aligheri and The Tain. Prose includes Last Night's Fun, The Star Factory, Fishing for Amber, Shamrock Tea and The Pen Friend (forthcoming). In recent years he has written four prose books: Last Night's Fun, a book about traditional music; The Star Factory, a memoir of Belfast; Fishing for Amber: A Long Story; and Shamrock Tea, a novel, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He has won several literary awards, including the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His translation of Dante's Inferno (2002) was awarded the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and in 2003 he was made an honorary member of the Irish Translators' and Interpreters' Association. Breaking News was awarded the 2003 Forward Prize.