Damian Smyth was born in Downpatrick, Co Down, in 1962.
His poetry collections are Downpatrick Races (Belfast, Lagan Press, 2000); The Down Recorder (Belfast, Lagan Press, 2004); Lamentations (Belfast, Lagan Press, 2010); Market Street (Belfast, Lagan Press, 2010); Apparitions: A Hurricane (Derby, Templar Poetry, booklet, 2012); and Mesopotamia (Derby, Templar Poetry, 2014).
Recent anthologies in which his work is represented include The New North: Contemporary Poetry from Northern Ireland (Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University Press, 2008), The Watchful Heart (Galway, Salmon Publishing, 2009), The Ulster Anthology (Belfast, Blackstaff Press, 2006) and The Blackbird’s Nest (Belfast, Blackstaff Press/QUB, 2006).
He has also written a stage play, Soldiers of the Queen, which was premiered in Downpatrick, 2002 and later staged at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, and on tour. It is published by Lagan Press, 2002.
He is a former deputy and arts editor of Fortnight magazine and former editor of Causeway, the journal of cultural traditions. He is a former reviewer of theatre in Ireland for the London Independent and has written and reviewed extensively on theatre in Ireland as well as on literature, visual arts and cultural politics for a variety of publications and on television and radio. He has edited Joseph Tomelty: All Souls’ Night and Other Plays (1993); Martin Lynch: Five Plays (1995) and John Hewitt: Two Plays (1999).
He is Head of Literature and Drama at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.