Born in 1963 in Preston, Lancashire, Michael’s poetry has won the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the TS Eliot Prize. He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and of the English Association.
His continuing collaboration with composer James MacMillan has led to two BBC Proms choral commissions, song cycles, music theatre works and operas for the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Welsh National Opera. Their WNO commission – The Sacrifice – won the RPS Award for opera, and their Royal Opera House/Scottish Opera commission – Clemency – was nominated for an Olivier Award.
His broadcast work includes A Fearful Symmetry – for Radio 4 – which won the Sandford St Martin Prize and Last Words, commissioned by Radio 4 to mark the first anniversary of 9/11.
He has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.