Festival Patrons

The Belfast Book Festival is delighted to have three inspiring Northern Irish writers as its passionate Patrons and who give their invaluable support to help the festival grow and develop; poet Paul Muldoon; novelist, playwright and short-story writer Lucy Caldwell; and novelist Glenn Patterson. Moyra Donaldson is the Patron of the Mairíin Crawford Awards. 


Paul Muldoon

Poet, lyricist, librettist, translator, critic, editor and professor: Paul Muldoon is a literary great.

From the house wren to hunting with eagles, from the Great War to the Irish rising, from Moses to Monsanto, Paul Muldoon’s sidelong glances and tangential language is as surprising as we would want it to be, at once familiar and never ceasing to amaze. 

He has published thirteen major collections of poetry, from New Weather to Quoof, Moy Sand and Gravel to One Thousand Things Worth Knowing and most recently, Frolic and Detour.

He has won many prizes, including a Pulitzer, the T S Eliot, and the Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry.   

For more information about Paul PaulMuldoonPoetry.com

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Lucy Caldwell

Lucy Caldwell is the author of three novels, two short story collections, Multitudes and Intimacies, and several stage plays and radio dramas.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, her awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, a Fiction Uncovered Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

In 2019, she edited Being Various, the latest volume in the ongoing Faber series of New Irish Short Stories. 

She is currently a judge of the Belfast Book Festival Mairtín Crawford Award for Short Story. 

For more information about Lucy: LucyCaldwell.com


Glenn Patterson

Glenn Patterson has written a number of acclaimed novels including Where Are We Now?Burning Your Own, Fat Lad, Black Night at Thunder Mountain, The International, Number 5, That Which Was, The Mill for Grinding Old People Young, The Rest Just Follows and Gull.

His non-fiction titles include Lapsed Protestant and Once Upon a Hill: Love in Troubled Times.

He co-wrote the screenplay of the film Good Vibrations, about the Belfast music scene of the 1970s.

He is currently Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.


Moyra Donaldson

Moyra was a friend of Mairtín’s, and brought the idea of the Award to The Crescent/Belfast Book Festival in 2014. She has been Chair of the Judges of the Poetry Award each year. In 2024 she has stepped back from the judging, but remains closely involved in the Award.

Moyra Donaldson is a poet and creative writing facilitator from Northern Ireland. She has published nine collectionsof poetry, including a limited-edition publication of artwork and poems, Blood Horses, in collaboration with artist Paddy Lennon. Her most recent collection of poems, Bone House, from Doire Press, was published in Spring 2021. In 2019, she received a Major Individual Artist award from Arts Council NI.

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