Collected Poems

Norman Dugdale

About the book…

During a writing career spanning nearly fifty years, Norman Dugdale published four critically well-received collections-A Prospect of the West (1970), Corncrake in October (1978), Running Repairs (1983) and Limbo (1991). Of these, the last three were published in Belfast, the city which adopted him as its own after his emigration to Northern Ireland in 1948 from his native Burnley in Lancashire. Dugdale's elegant style and sometimes austere tone has found a permanent niche in the literary imagination of his chosen place. 

A poetry that stands out for its elegance and technical poise, for self-control, allied him to a moral vision in matters of the world and the heart.

Photo of the author, Norman Dugdale

About the author…

Norman Dugdale was born in Burnley, Lancashire and was educated at Burnley Grammar School and Manchester University, where he obtained his BA in 1941. He joined the Board of Trade as an assistant principal and moved to the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland in 1948. Highly able, he was promoted assistant secretary in 1955, senior assistant secretary in 1964, second secretary in 1968, and permanent secretary in 1970.

He retired from the civil service in 1984 and served as chairman of the Bryson House charity, was a trustee of the Pushkin Trust, and a governor of the National Institute for Social Work. In 1985 he was appointed to the Board of the British Council.

As a poet, he published four individual collections:A Prospect of the West(1970);Corncrakein October(1978); Running Repairs(1983); andLimbo(1991). He was also an active member of the famous Belfast ‘Group’ established by Philip Hobsbaum in the 1960s which included such writers as Seamus Heaney, Stewart Parker and Joan Newmann.

His friend and fellow poet, Padraic Fiacc, called him ‘one of Ireland’s most unjustly neglected poets. Classical in his tone and craft, he was the last Alexandrian.’

Dugdale's wife was the well-known painter Mary Dugdale. In memory and recognition of her gifts, the Ulster Society of Women Artists instituted the Mary Dugdale Cup for Portraiture. Dugdale was appointed CB in 1974 and awarded an honorary D Litt. by the University of Ulster in 1983. He died in 1995.