Although he was not well-known in the United States, the American-born Michael Donaghy earned a reputation in Britain as one of most gifted, inventive, and intelligent poets writing in English. His death at age 50 shocked his many admirers; soon afterward, dozens of tributes from poets, editors, friends, and former students appeared in British newspapers. Those who knew him praised his humour and good friendship. All were certain that his contribution to the art of poetry would last.

Donaghy grew up in the Bronx borough of New York City, where he was born in 1954. His parents were Irish immigrants who never felt at home in their new country, and he grew up with a sense of mixed identity as an Irish-American. Many of Donaghy’s poems concern familial relationships and family history. The

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Citation: Thompson, William. "Michael Donaghy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2005; last revised 08 June 2022. [, accessed 18 July 2024.]

6022 Michael Donaghy 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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