Des Dillon

Des Dillon (b. 1960)



A writer who works in many fields, but for whom poetry remains his first and abiding passion.

Full Biography

Although readers might know Des Dillon chiefly as a novelist or short story-writer, or even as a River City scriptwriter, ‘I always considered myself to be first and foremost, a poet.’ He was born and grew up in Coatbridge, which ever since has acted as the inspiration and backdrop to his written work. He began to write poetry seriously when he was 18-years-old, inspired by Bob Dylan and ‘Coatbridge patter’. After leaving school, Dillon worked as a fruit machine engineer, a joiner, a washing machine engineer, and a bouncer, before enrolling to study English Literature at Strathclyde University.

On graduating, he became an English teacher, and it was while pursuing this profession, his writing began to attract a readership. His first success was with prose, although he imbued it with a certain poetic vigour, enough to be recognised by Edwin Morgan, who described The Big Empty as ‘a Coatbridge Dubliners’. ‘The further away from poetry I moved the more successful I became as a writer,’ Dillon said. Although poetry drew Dillon towards writing, he was recognised as a short story writer, novelist, dramatist, broadcaster, screen writer, and scriptwriter for TV, stage and radio before his verse was published in 2002 in Picking Brambles. ‘William Empson said that it is the job of the poet to put the feeling inside the poet's head inside the reader's head. I firmly agree with that.’

Poems by Des Dillon

There are no poems by this poet on the Scottish Poetry Library website, but we do have items in our library collection.