Michael Laskey was born in 1944 and educated at Gresham’s School and St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read English. He subsequently worked as a teacher in secondary and further education in Spain and England for ten years. He has published three pamphlets – Cloves of Garlic (1988), which won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition, In the Fruit Cage (1997) and Living by the Sea (2007). His first two collections were both Poetry Book Society Recommendations: Thinking of Happiness (Peterloo, 1991) and The Tightrope Wedding (Smith/Doorstop, 1999), which was also shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. Permission to Breathe (Smith/Doorstop, 2004) was followed by The Man Alone: New & Selected Poems (Smith/Doorstop, 2008). He founded the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in 1989 and the poetry magazine Smiths Knoll with Roy Blackman in 1991. He has taught at the University of East Anglia and tutors regularly for the Arvon Foundation.