Luxury of the Dispossessed by Dan Duggan

Luxury of the Dispossessed, the debut collection from poet and artist Dan Duggan, was 'Highly Commended' by the Forward Prize 2015.


It is a book of derelicts, poems from purgatory, stories of incarceration on psychiatric wards under the provisions of The Mental Health act. Duggan deals with the characters he met over a decade, from those on the acute mental health wards, to specialist units dealing with starvation, depression, suicide attempts and self-harm. 

Luxury of the Dispossessed is not all darkness and terror; the poems celebrate kindness in awful circumstances; a shared cigarette among friends, communal watching of bad TV, encouragement and support found in the most unlikely of places. 

Exploring the space of the psychiatric ward through poetry and art, this is a vital new collection giving a voice to those who so often go unheard. 

Praise for Luxury of the Dispossessed


‘These are raw and true poems full of bare feeling and sorrow, offering us a startling glimpse into the world of psychiatric care. Dan Duggan’s magic is his heartbreaking honesty and his ability to find tenderness and beauty within the darkest times.’ 
– Liz Berry (Felix Dennis Prize winner 2014) 

‘This book blazes with the harsh fire of truth, and the poems in it will linger in your mind long after you’ve finished your first reading… Duggan makes a subtle song of pain, and how it sings.’ 
Sabotage Reviews

Luxury of the Dispossessed is neither an expose or an apologia for mental illness and the systems that seek to manage it within society, but it provides a piercing insight into the daily realities of living through it.’ 
Here Comes Everyone

‘Duggan’s debut poetry collection is a cut through to the bone of the modern poetic subject.’ 
3:AM Magazine

Further Reading

The Art of Bethlem Psychiatric Hospital by Nell Frizzell

An interview with Dan Duggan
– Ambit

About the Author

Dan Duggan is formerly a patient at The Bethlem Royal Hospital, the oldest pyschiatric hospital in the country. Much of his thirties has been spent on various psychiatric wards, mainly under the provision of the 1983 Mental Health Act. Now in recovery his work has appeared multiple times in AmbitPoetry and Audience and Magma.

ISBN: 9781910312032
Publication date: 9 February 2015
Format: Paperback