New Patrons Announced

Fighting Words Belfast is excited to announce that Paul Muldoon and Lucy Caldwell will join the internationally acclaimed line-up of project patrons.

Paul Muldoon is the author of twelve major collections of poetry, including One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), Maggot (2010), Horse Latitudes (2006), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Hay (1998), The Annals of Chile (1994), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), Meeting the British (1987), Quoof (1983), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Mules (1977) and New Weather (1973). He has also published innumerable smaller collections, works of criticism, opera libretti, books for children, song lyrics and radio and television drama. His poetry has been translated into twenty languages.

Muldoon served as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004. He has taught at Princeton University since 1987 and currently occupies the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 chair in the Humanities. He has been poetry editor of The New Yorker since 2007. In addition to being much in demand as a reader and lecturer, he occasionally appears with a spoken word music group, Rogue Oliphant.


Paul Muldoon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature, the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War."


Roger Rosenblatt, writing in The New York Times Book Review, described Paul Muldoon as "one of the great poets of the past hundred years, who can be everything in his poems - word-playful, lyrical, hilarious, melancholy. And angry. Only Yeats before him could write with such measured fury."


Lucy is the author of three novels and several stage plays & radio dramas. Her awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, the BBC Stewart Parker Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Imison Award, a Fiction Uncovered Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  Her most recent novel, All the Beggars Riding, was chosen for Belfast’s One City One Book campaign in 2013 and shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. Her debut play, Leaves, premiered at Druid Theatre’s Chapel Lane and the Royal Court Upstairs in 2007. Subsequent plays include Guardians and Notes to Future Self, and she has just worked on a version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters set in 1990s Belfast for the Lyric Theatre.

Lucy adds:

'I decided I wanted to be a writer aged 13 when, for homework, we had to write an extra chapter for Jennifer Johnson’s novel How Many Miles to Babylon?  I spent hours on it, and I knew I’d found my calling. I was entranced by the workshop I observed at Fighting Words.  The room itself with its beautiful rooftop view, flooded with light.  The boundless enthusiasm of the workshop leaders and volunteers.  The wild excitement and glee of the schoolchildren, quietening to a hum of intense concentration as they got to work imagining their worlds and stories and characters into being. It takes so little for the spark to be ignited, and it can illuminate a whole life. I am proud and honoured to be a Patron of Fighting Words Belfast. If it had been there when I was growing up, I’d never have left.  This is the next best thing.'

Paul and Lucy will join a stellar line up of existing Fighting Words patrons, including Glenn Patterson, Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby and Dave Eggers.