Illustrator, author, and publisher Michael McCurdy was born New York City in 1942. He attended The School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he produced his first wood engraving in 1963. McCurdy received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Fine Arts from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. He served as an Instructor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, at Concord Academy, and at the Book Arts Laboratory of the Wellesley College Library. McCurdy founded Penmaen Press (1968 – 1985), which principally published literary works and broadsides. As a freelance wood engraver, he contributed illustrations to many trade and fine-press books and publications.