Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL is a literary historian, poet, novelist and translator. He is founder (1969) and editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press Limited, the general editor of the literary magazine PN Review, a Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester and was Writer in Residence at St John’s College, Cambridge and a Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 2006 he was awarded an O.B.E. for services to Poetry.

He was born in 1947 in Mexico and raised there. He studied at the Hill School in Pennsylvania, and then on an exchange scholarship at Christ’s Hospital School in Sussex. He went to Harvard and completed his undergraduate studies at Wadham College, Oxford. While at Oxford he established what has become one of the leading poetry publishing houses in Britain, Carcanet Press.

Schmidt became a writer, editor and teacher.



  • Talking to Stanley on the Telephone, Smith/Doorstop, 2020
  • The Stories of My Life, Smith/Doorstop, 2013
  • Collected Poems, Smith/Doorstop, 2009

Poetry Anthologies

  • The Harvill Book of Twentieth Century Poetry in English, Harvill, 1999
  • New Poetries I-VIII, Carcanet, 1994-2020
  • Five American Poets, Carcanet, 2010
  • The Great Modern Poets, Quercus, 2006


  • Flower & Song: Nahuatl Poetry (with Edward Kissam), Anvil, 1977, 2010

Literary History and Criticism

  • Lives of the Ancient Poets: The Greeks, Weidenfeld, Knopf, 2004, 2005
  • Lives of the Poets, Weidenfeld, Knopf, 1998, 1999
  • The Novel: A Biography, Harvard University Press, 2014
  • Gilgamesh, Princeton University Press, 2019


  • The Colonist, Muller/Hutchinson, 1983
  • The Dresden Gate, Century Hutchinson, 1988

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