Gerry Murphy was born in Cork in 1952. After dropping out of university in the early 1970s he spent some years working in London and living in an Israeli Kibbutz before returning to Cork where he has remained ever since. A champion swimmer he has made his living primarily as a life guard and swimming pool manager. He began publishing his books in the mid-80s containing poems so far removed from the Irish tradition that many doubted they were poems at all. Undaunted and with his usual irreverence, Murphy once insisted on using a singularly detracting review alongside the more praising ones as a blurb for one of his books. Amusingly this had the effect of silencing and defusing many of his critics.