George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee in 1956. He was brought up in London and studied Fine Art in London and Leeds. His poems began appearing in national magazines in 1973 and his first book, The Slant Door, was published in 1979 and won the Faber Memorial prize the following year. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2005. He lives near Norwich with his wife, the painter Clarissa Upchurch.