Moya Cannon was born in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal in 1956 and now lives in Galway. She studied history and politics at University College, Dublin and international relations at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Her first collection, Oar, won the inaugural Brendan Behan Award and, in 2001, she was the recipient of the Laurence O Shaughnessy Award (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota). A number of her poems have been set to music by Jane O Leary, Philip Martin and Ellen Cranitch, and she has worked with traditional Irish musicians, amongst them Kathleen Loughnane and Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, both in the context of performance and of translating Gaelic songs. Moya Cannon has edited Poetry Ireland Review and, in 2004, was elected to Aosdána, the Irish affiliation of creative artists. In 2011 she was the holder of the Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University, PA.