Paula Cunningham was born in Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1963. She has lived in Belfast for much of her adult life. She won the Poetry Business competition in 1999, and a poetry chapbook, A Dog Called Chance, was published by Smith/Doorstop that year. Her poems have been widely anthologised. She also writes drama and short fiction. A short story appeared in David Marcus’s Faber New Irish Short Stories 2005. In 2011 she won the £5,000 Hippocrates poetry prize, and was also shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Prize. Her first collection of poems, Heimlich’s Manoeuvre, was published by Smith/Doorstop Books in 2013.