Joseph Lennon was born in Newport, Rhode Island, and grew up in Rochester, a small town in central Illinois. He has lived in Ireland and Italy and travelled throughout India. After a decade in New York City, teaching at Manhattan College, he now lives in Philadelphia with his family and is Director of Irish Studies at Villanova University. He has published poetry and critical essays on Irish literature and postcolonial studies. His book Irish Orientalism: A Literary and Intellectual History (Syracuse UP, 2004) won the Donald J. Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book from the American Conference for Irish Studies. Lennon spent many years living with undiagnosed coeliac disease and its effects.