Michael O'Loughlin was born in Dublin in 1958. He studied at Trinity College Dublin. His first collection Stalingrad: The Street Dictionary was published in 1980, and he has published six more collections of poetry since, and is also a critic, screenwriter, translator and commentator. He lived for many years in Spain and the Netherlands but now lives in Dublin.
He has been Writer Fellow in Trinity College Dublin, Writer-in-Residence in Galway City and County, as well as residencies in Riga and Paris. In 2017 he was the UNESCO City of Literature Writer-in-Residence in Prague. His poetry has been translated into many languages, including French, Czech, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. His Poems 1980-2015 appeared in 2017, of which The Irish Times wrote: 'These poems from three and a half decades constitute European poetry in the mask of English, and they are a unique addition to the Capital of Letters.'
In 2021 he published Liberty Hall, a collection of poetry, prose, and images inspired by Dublin’s iconic building, of which Dermot Bolger wrote: ‘Few writers have written so accurately and so unsentimentally about Dublin, in a tone equally at home and displaced in all cultures’.He is a member of Aosdana.