Skip to main content

Michael Foley

Michael Foley was born in 1947 in Derry, Northern Ireland, and educated at St Columb’s College and Queens University, Belfast, where he took degrees in Chemistry and Computer Science and did research in Computer Science.

In 1972 he moved to London, where he still lives. After a career in teaching, culminating in twenty three years at the University of Westminster lecturing in Information Technology, he retired in 2007 to devote himself to writing.

His first poems were published in 1969 in The Honest Ulsterman, a magazine he went on to edit with Frank Ormsby, and his first prose was published in a satirical column in the magazine Fortnight, which also serialised his first novel, The Passion of Jamesie Coyle.

photo: Campbell McIlroy

After retirement from teaching he wrote his first non-fiction book, The Age of Absurdity. It was translated into eight languages and became an international bestseller.

Since, Michael Foley has published three other novels and non-fiction books and five collections of poetry, including New and Selected Poems, Blackstaff Press 2011.

Sarah Crown in The Guardian: ‘Michael Foley’s poems marry irresistible narrative with the sort of irreverent exuberance that carries all before it’

The most recent novel was Beyond, Blackstaff Press 2002. It was chosen as one of The Guardian’s Ten Best Irish Rural Novels.

Sue Leonard in Books Ireland: ‘From the first page I knew I was in for a treat. His style is sharp, funny and wryly observant, and this novel … is original, daring and compulsive’.

His most recent non-fiction was Isn’t This Fun? Investigating the Serious Business of Enjoying Ourselves, Simon & Schuster 2016.

Tom Startup in The Times Literary Supplement: ‘Inspired by the wild Dionysian spirit of Nietzsche and Rabelais, Foley’s mind fizzes, like potassium on water, across a dizzying array of topics and ideas’.

The Whole Thing, a long poem, was published by Mica Press in April 2023.

His novel Schrödinger in Dublin will be published by Holland Park Press in March 2024.

More information about Michael can be found on his website.