Michael McCarthy grew up on a farm in West Cork, Ireland. His first poetry collection Birds’ Nests and Other Poems (Bradshaw Books, 2003) won the Patrick Kavanagh Award and was followed by children’s books, which have been translated into seventeen languages. At the Races (Smith|Doorstop, 2009) was the overall winner of the 2008 Book & Pamphlet Competition, chosen by Michael Longley, while The Healing Station (Smith|Doorstop, 2015) was selected as a Book of the Year by Hilary Mantel in the Guardian. Michael worked as a priest in North Yorkshire where he died in July 2018. His penultimate collection, The Bright Room and other poems (Smith|Doorstop, 2019), brought together poems written over the last decade of his life.