Michael Egan was born in Baltimore in 1939. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Maryland, and then took an M.A. in the Writing Seminars of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Coleman.
His books were The Oldest Gesture (Baltimore: New Poets Series, 1970) and We Came Out Again to See the Stars (Galway: Salmon Publishing, 1986). In the early 1970s, he taught at UMBC, and then, in the 80s and 90s, interspersed among numerous trips to Ireland, he taught at the Maryland Institute, College of Art.
He was working on an epic poem, Leviathan, in his final years. He was able to complete the first half of this work, some 85 pages, of which, sections were published in various journals, before his death in 1992. Since his death, his work has appeared in Salmon: A Journey in Poetry, 1981-2007 and in the FSG Book of 20th Century Italian Poetry.
Jane Satterfield will present some of his work for the Dead Poets Remembrance Day celebration on October 6th.
Michael's obituary in the Baltimore Sun: A Mass of Christian burial for Michael Egan, a poet, teacher and expert on Irish culture and history, will be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Joseph's Passionist Monastery Church, Old Frederick Road and Monastery Avenue.
Mr. Egan, who lived on Mallow Hill Road when he was not staying in Ireland, died Thursday of cancer at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 52.
His poetry was published in three books, "The Oldest Gesture," "Letters to My Wife" and "We Came Out Again to See the Stars." He had completed a book-length epic poem, "Leviathan".
His works also appeared in such publications as the Journal of Irish Literature, Antaeus and the Maryland Poetry Review, of which he was a founder.
A former co-editor of the Hampden Sydney Poetry Review, he helped start the University of Maryland Baltimore County literary magazine Bartleby and was founder of a publishing house, New Poets Series Inc./Chestnut Hills Press.
He was poet in residence at UMBC from 1970 to 1977 and taught poetry and literature at the Howard and Dundalk community colleges and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
He started the Maryland Institute for Irish Studies in 1977 to provide courses in Irish history, culture, language and music for people of Irish descent especially.
The Baltimore native was a graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School and the University of Maryland at College Park. He held a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University, where he attended the writing seminars.
Mr. Egan is survived by two daughters, Moira P. Egan of New York City and Sionna E. Johnson of Baltimore; a son, Patrick M. Egan of Baltimore; his former wife, Betty Egan of Catonsville; his mother, Selma H. Egan of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.