Desmond Hogan was was born in Ballinasloe, County Galway in 1950. He attended University College, Dublin, and worked as a writer and actor with Children's T. Company theatre group before moving to London. He subsequently held the position of writer-in-residence, University of Glasgow. After spending time in the United States, as a Hudson Strode Fellow at the University of Alabama and Berlin as a Berlin Artists Fellow, Hogan returned to Ireland in 1995. He was awarded the 1971 Hennessy Award, the 1977 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and 1980 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.