Ilkley Literature Festival announces 2021 Poets in Residence


Poet in Residence Ian Duhig (Photo: Paul Maddern)

Ilkley Literature Festival are delighted to announce the Forward Prize-winning poet Ian Duhig as the festival’s 2021 Poet in Residence.


Previous Festival Poets in Residence have included Imtiaz Dharker, Andrew McMillan, Zaffar Kunial and Colette Bryce. Following in their footsteps, Ian will be making a mark on this year’s festival, programming an online poetry showcase, taking part in a reading, running a writing workshop for adults, producing a commissioned piece, and judging the annual Walter Swan Poetry Prize (open until 31 July).


Ian became a full-time writer after working with homeless people for fifteen years and has since published seven books of poetry. He has won the Forward Best Poem Prize once, the National Poetry Competition twice, and has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize four times. He is a Cholmondeley Award recipient, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and this year is one of the judges for the Costa Poetry Prize. His next collection, ‘New and Selected Poems’, will be published by Picador in December 2021. Ian also continues to work on projects for disadvantaged groups, locally with Leeds Irish Health and Homes and the David Oluwale Memorial Association, as well as with artists, filmmakers and musicians.


“I’m delighted to be the Ilkley Literature Festival’s Poet in Residence for more reasons than I have room to say,” Ian said. “Ilkley Literature Festival is not frightened to put together challenging eve