Novelist and poet Nick Laird was born in Cookstown, County Tyrone in 1975. After attaining a first in English at Cambridge University he went on to study then practice law in London. He left after six years to concentrate full-time on his writing.
His first poetry collection, To a Fault, was published in 2005. His debut novel, Utterly Monkey followed later the same year. His second collection of poetry, On Purpose, was published in 2007, and his second novel Glover’s Mistake followed in 2009.
Laird has been the recipient of many prizes for both his poetry and fiction, including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Award, the Betty Trask Prize, a Somerset Maugham award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.
Laird married fellow writer Zadie Smith, whom he met at Cambridge, in 2004. They have a daughter, Katherine, born in 2009. The family live part of the year in London, and part in New York, where Laird is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University.
This interview was published on 20/09/2011 on the Culture Northern Ireland website (link below):