Ian Duhig

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Robert Ian Duhig (born 9 February 1954 London) is a British poet. In 2014, he was a chair of the final judging panel for the T. S. Eliot Prize awards.[1]


He was the eighth of eleven children born to Irish parents. He graduated from Leeds University.[2]

He worked for 15 years with homeless people.[3]

He is a writer and teacher of creative writing at various institutions, including the Arvon Foundation.[4]

Duhig writes occasional articles for magazines and newspapers including Moving Worlds, The Sunday Times and the Independent on Sunday. He has also worked on a variety of commissions, particularly involving music. He wrote 'In the Key of H' with the contemporary composer Christopher Fox for the Ilkley Festival, co-operating again with Fox on an insert to 'The Play of Daniel', which can be heard on Fox's DVD 'A Glimpse of Sion's Glory'. He was commissioned by The Clerks, a vocal consort specialising in pre-baroque music, to write new poems for 'Le Roman de Fauvel', which was first performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank in 2007, and enthusiastically reviewed in The New York Times when performed in that city in 2009.[5]

Duhig is an anthologised short story writer, represented in the award-winning 'The New Uncanny' from Comma Press, a creative updating of Freud's famous essay with other writers including A.S Byatt and Hanif Kureishi. He has also written for radio and the stage, the latter most recently with Rommi Smith, directed by Polly Thomas, on 'God Comes Home' at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2009. This considered the ramifications of the case of David Oluwale, a homeless Nigerian immigrant to Leeds, who died after a campaign of persecution by two local policemen. Duhig has written poems about this tragic story, one of which appears in Kester Aspden's 'The Hounding of David Oluwale', published by Jonathan Cape.

Duhig was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2006.[6]


Teaching Fellowships at Lancaster and Leeds Universities. Northern Arts Literary Fellow 2000, International Writer Fellow, Trinity College Dublin 2003.

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature



  • The Lammas Hireling. Picador. 2003. ISBN 978-0-330-49238-6.
  • The Bradford Count. Bloodaxe. 1991. ISBN 978-1-85224-138-4.
  • The Mersey Goldfish. Bloodaxe. 1994. ISBN 978-1-85224-325-8.
  • Nominies. Bloodaxe. 1998. ISBN 978-1-85224-457-6.
  • The Lammas Hireling. Picador. 2003. ISBN 978-0-330-49238-6.
  • The Speed of Dark. Picador. 2007. ISBN 978-0-330-44655-6.
  • Pandorama Picador 2010 ISBN 978-0-330-52124-6
  • The blind roadmaker. Picador. 2016. ISBN 978-1-5098-0981-3.


  • 'Modern Irish Poetry', editor Patrick Crotty, Blackstaff 1995
  • 'Emergency Kit', editors Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney, Faber and Faber 1996
  • 'The Firebox: Poetry in Britain and Ireland After 1945', editor Sean O'Brien, Picador 1998
  • 'The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland Since 1945', edited by Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford, Viking 1998
  • 'The Bloodaxe Book of 20th Century Poetry, editor Edna Longley, Bloodaxe 2000
  • 'Irish Writing in the Twentieth Century: A Reader', editor David Pierce, Cork University Press, 2000
  • Don Paterson, Charles Simic, ed. (2004). New British poetry. Graywolf Press. ISBN 978-1-55597-394-0.
  • 'The Book of Leeds' (short stories), editors Maria Crossan and Tom Palmer, Comma 2006
  • 'The New Uncanny' (short stories), editor Ra Page, Comma 2008



  • 'The Irish Boomerang' in Poetry Ireland Review, August 2003
  • Duhig, Ian (22 March 2009). My week. The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  • 'The Holy City' in Moving Worlds, August 2009


"Among recent writers indebted to the modernist masters in that respect are Paul Muldoon, WN Herbert and Ian Duhig: erudite and venturesome poets who specialise in a complexity which has one puzzling and laughing together.
"The Celtic input into this tradition of humorous difficulty is intriguing. Muldoon is an Ulsterman, Herbert a Scot, Duhig the London-born child of Irish Catholic parents. Duhig is the most economical. The Lammas Hireling, shortlisted for this year's TS Eliot Prize, is his fourth book in 12 years and, at 69 pages, his longest by a short head. In his last volume, Nominies, he seemed to opt for a more direct and accessible style. This book requires greater concentration." Alan Brownjohn[7]

"The lightness of touch and the humour of this collection are subversive in contexts where many might fear to speak. Without pretension or presumption, 'The Speed of Dark' stands up against some of the worst aspects of 'civilisation' and stands with the very best of contemporary poetry." Fran Brearton[8]


  1. ^ Burke-Kennedy, Eoin (13 January 2013). "Irish poet Sinéad Morrissey wins prestigious TS Eliot Prize". Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  2. ^ Europa Publications, ed. (2003). International Who's Who in Poetry 2004. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-85743-178-0.
  3. ^ "The Poetry Archive". www.poetryarchive.org. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Arvon Foundation: Ian Duhig". Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Poemhunter.com". www.poemhunter.com. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Royal Society of Literature: Fellows". www.rsliterature.org. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  7. ^ Alan Brownjohn (23 January 2004). "The Lammas Hireling by Ian Duhig". The Independent. London.
  8. ^ Fran Brearton, 'From the Horse's Mouth', the Guardian, 2007

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