Writer’s Bio Spring 2023

Joe Duggan is a poet, writer and facilitator, originally from Northern Ireland. His first full collection “Fizzbombs” was published by Tall Lighthouse in 2008. He was highly commended in The Forward Prize 2009 and featured in the Forward Book of Poetry 2010.


His second full collection “Rescue Contraptions” was published by tall lighthouse in June 2022 and launched with 2 sell-out gigs to nearly 200 people in Crystal Palace.


” For someone who makes such a virtue out of plain-speaking honesty, there’s also a discreet flamboyance at play in Joe Duggan’s work. … giving each word its exact weight and importance and something beyond that. … he can find himself ‘time-jumping ceasefires’ in different countries, imagine a fresh Oscar Wilde bon-mot or keep Youssop Matada suspended and on repeat, high in our minds over East Sheen in a feat of heart-stopping reportage. Yes, honest and real, but superbly and artfully executed, too. Take a long drink.”


“Whether talking about family, country, teaching, or mortality, Joe shares with us the weight of his experiences. His nimble lyricism and style allow us to pick up and hold these moments so that we may appreciate the world’s gravity, rather than be subdued by it.”

– JOSEPH JOHNSON, Magazine Editor at OPEN PEN

“all the stronger for its focus on the working class experience of tough times, just scraping by – experiences inflamed by deadly sectarianism……his moving love poems honouring his brothers simultaneously stir and sooth. He manages to balance sadness with a steady sense of humour…..To paraphrase the final words of Joe’s 2.40am poem: Give it a go. You will be glad you did. “


“A big gut punch… moving and engaging and funny and brilliant. I don’t read much poetry but then I read some, like yours, which is so powerful and effecting and I wonder why I don’t read more. It’s like you’ve ripped your heart into bits and stapled it all over the page.”



Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh
Joe has recorded with ambient-loop geniuses “The Fireflies” and with “Woodleigh Research Facility” on legendary DJ Andrew Weatherall’s Moine Dubh label. Fireflies’ line-up has also included Franck Alba (ex-Piano Magic) & Dani Cali

Releases include:
Surrounded On All Sides (Fireflies featuring Joe Duggan)
5 track album available on bandcamp

“Play Bingo with Me” on “A Walk with Bob & Bill” from Woodleigh Research Facility (Nina Walsh & Andrew Weatherall) 
& “Downhill” on “Downhill” from Woodleigh Research Facility (Nina Walsh & Andrew Weatherall) 

” Andrew Weatherall`s long-time associate, and studio partner, Nina Walsh, continues – without any fanfare – to bless believers with monthly broadcasts from The Woodleigh Research Facility. Two of the more recent broadsides have been accompanied by the 21st Century beat poetry of Derry`s Joe Duggan. The bulk of public attention and acclaim’s been given to Downhill – an inebriated crawl through Joe’s local pubs – a definite must-listen for fans of Michael Smith’s Giro Playboy – but for moi it`s Play Bingo With Me that shouts “Full-house!” Its metallic, tinny, percussion tapping out a brisk tattoo against a live rock-edged, bass rumble. Mixing desk effects bombarding Duggan`s descriptions of decidedly unglamorous, but real, love. The search for someone to grow old with.


“Warriors of The Dystoteque”
Since late 2021, Joe has been collaborating with the Irish -International DJ Collective “Warriors of The Dystoteque”. In 2022 his vocals and lyrics featured on the track “Barred” from their album “Anthropause”.  The Warriors are listed as “Hot for 2023” by Hotpress magazine & Joe is cooking some new material as we write.

Fitzroy Avenue is a very exciting 8 track digital release from the “Warriors” on the Leeds label Paisley Dark. Coming your way on the 17th March !  Check out the teaser trailer here


Joe was a founder member of the “Bunch of Chancers” Poetry Group in Derry, touring throughout Ireland and New York State. His work has been published by Brand, Abridged, Fingerpost, Bear in Mind (Lagan Press), Cúirt Journal, South Bank Poetry and the Shuffle Anthology. He has also written stories for children, rap lyrics for the Irish band Different Drums and two texts for Echo Echo Dance Company.

In 2014 his poem “Library Lovers” was chosen by The National Poetry Library as part of their 60th Birthday Celebrations to be included in an exhibition of modern contemporary poets alongside Andrew Motion, Mimi Khalvati, Emily Berry, Vahni Capildeo, Heather Phillipson, Carol Rumens and others and is now hosted on The National Poetry Library website.

He enjoys performing widely on the London poetry scene, featuring at Latitude Festival, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, the Southbank Centre, Cuirt Poetry Festival, Apples and Snakes , Farrago and a host of other venues and festivals.

He has hosted the sellout Spoken Word Express as part of the Crystal Palace Festival since 2013 and hosts a very popular Open Mic at The Paxton Centre, also in Crystal Palace.

A qualified primary school teacher, he is also an experienced creative writing facilitator, working in both school and community settings.



“Under the chatty vernacular is a lovely, casual sharpness, like an unexpected hot chilli in something sold as sweet.  There’s power and tenderness together here.”
– Cherry Smith, Poetry Editor, Brand Magazine

“I think that, despite being highly commended in the Forward Prize, poet Joe Duggan is at the moment under-rated. The poems in his book, Fizzbombs, are lyrical, haunting and witty.”
– Saskia Sarginson inThe IRISH TIMES

“Stunning debut collection……… vibrant and memorable.”
– Salena Godden in the NEW CAMDEN JOURNAL

“There’s a forgotten sector of society here that Duggan speaks directly to……As plain speaking and direct as poetry gets”
Verbal Magazine


3 thoughts on “About

  1. […] Two of the more recent broadsides have been accompanied by the 21st Century beat poetry of Derry`s Joe Duggan. The bulk of public attention and acclaim`s been given to Downhill – an inebriated crawl […]

  2. […] poetry of Derry`s Joe Duggan dances to disco-not-disco dynamite, as he details his desire for down-to-earth real love – […]

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