To have heard him read adds another pleasure to the reading of his work — but the voice speaks clearly on the page in poems of harrowing intimacy, politics and love.
Carol Ann Duffy
Paul Durcan’s Ireland is the one we inhabit. At times he is ready to celebrate the bizarre and the ordinary; at other times he is full of a surreal rage against both order and disorder
In the words of Caitriona O’Reilly (The Guardian 2008) ‘anyone who has attended one of Paul Durcan’s electrifying poetry readings and been reduced to hysteria (a common enough occurrence) can testify to the unique flavour of his work…’ And what flavour! Political and personal, tender and subversive, comic and inherently iconoclastic, Durcan’s poetry is a rich and heady brew, made all the more potent when heard in the distinctive cadence of his own speech. From the hypocrisies of the church to governmental bureaucracy and the bourgeois pretensions of the social elite, Durcan has spent the last four decades taking contemporary Irish life to task. That he has done so with wit, intelligence and incantatory style has served him well, achieving that rarest of literary feats: huge popular appeal with wide critical acclaim.