Irish poet and novelist, educated at Queen's University, Belfast. After his first volume, The New Estate (1976), Carson's mature work uses complex, digressive narratives, influenced by his Irish‐speaking background, to explore history, memory, and the layered maps of Belfast life from the 17th cent. to the post‐1969 Troubles (The Irish for No, 1987; Belfast Confetti, 1989). His long lines and complex sentences have now taken on rhyme and include versions of Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Richly physical and sensuous, Carson's poems reinvigorate aspects of the Symbolist imagination. Other collections include First Language (1993), Opera Et Cetera (1996), and Breaking News (2003). His novels include Shamrock Tea (2001), inspired by van Eyck's painting Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife.