Michael Casey

"Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Casey in 1968 received a degree in physics from Lowell Technological Institute, where he took an English class with the poet and critic William Aiken, who became a mentor.

Drafted after graduation, Casey served as a military policeman in the United States Army from 1968 to 1970, first at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and then in South Vietnam. His stay at the fort provided material for a later book The Million Dollar Hole. His work as a military police officer in Quang Ngai Province in South Vietnam is reflected in Obscenities. 

In the military, Casey’s reading included Alan Dugan’s Poems, J. D. Salinger’s Nine Stories, and a text on thermodynamics. In a shipment of books for soldiers, he picked out The New American Poetry, 1945-1960, Donald Allen’s groundbreaking anthology where Casey found the poems of Edward Field.

After Vietnam, he began a master’s degree program in physics at the State University of New York in Buffalo. With the publication of Obscenities, however, he turned to the creative writing program, studying with poets John Logan and Irving Feldman. His master’s thesis, under advisor William Sylvester, was an early version of Millrat.

In addition to his books, Casey’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Nation, and many literary journals. Among the anthologies in which his work is represented are Unaccustomed Mercy: Soldier-Poets of the Vietnam War, edited by W. D. Ehrart; The Book of Irish American Poetry: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present, edited by Daniel Tobin; and Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking out the Jams, edited by M. L. Liebler.

He lives in Andover, Massachusetts."