Ian Duhig (Ireland/England) is a former Committee Member of the John Hewitt Society and last took part in the 2018 John Hewitt International Summer School, along with Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, discussing “Writing & Refugees”.
Ian is closely associated with the city of Leeds, where for 15 years he worked with the homeless. Known primarily as a poet, he has also written short stories and plays, perhaps most notably a collaboration with Rommi Smith, “God Comes Home”, produced at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2009. The play dealt with the case of David Oluwale, a homeless Nigerian immigrant who died after a campaign of persecution by two Leeds policemen. Ian’s poetry collection, “Pandorama” (Picador, 2010), contains a series of elegies for David.
Ian was chosen as a New Generation Poet in 1994 and has received Arts Council and Cholmondeley Awards, as well as holding Royal Literary Fund fellowships Lancaster, Durham, Newcastle and Leeds universities. He has eight poetry collections to date and has won the National Poetry Competition twice (1987 & 2001) and the Forward Prize for Best Poem (2001). Two of his collections, “The Lammas Hireling” (Picador, 2103) and “The Blind Roadmaker” (Picador, 2016), were shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize for Best Collection. “The Speed of the Dark (Picador, 2007) was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and the T S Eliot Award.
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