Michael Thorley was born in Tamworth, NSW, and educated at Tamworth Christian Brothers College. He gained a Teachers College scholarship to study music at Newcastle Conservatorium, but his teaching career was postponed by two years conscription into the Army. After this he began a Bachelor’s degree at Sydney University, which he completed while teaching. After a year away (taxi driving, personnel work in the ABC), he returned to the Department of Education, and worked in the Riverina and South Coast Regions until he retired in 2006.
He has had a lifelong love of poetry but only became seriously involved in his later years. His book “Sleeping Alone” was published in 2008 in Canberra and won the Canberra Writers award for best poetry book for that year. He has been published occasionally in magazines (Quadrant, Meanjin) and his interest in Japanese poetry – Haiku and Tanka – has his work in the Australian publications “Eucalypt” (Tanka) and “Windfall” (Haiku), and similar collections. He is a part of the Canberra poetry community, and reads often at various events there. He spends his time between Tamworth and Queanbeyan/Canberra. Over the years he has been involved in Toastmasters, Squash, Orienteering, Music and various mountain sports