Sean O’Brien is a poet, critic, playwright, anthologist, novelist and editor. He grew up in Hull and now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has piublished seven collections of poetry to date, including Downriver (Picador, 2007) and November (Picador, 2011). His Collected Poems will appear from Picador in December 2012.
His book of essays on contemporary poetry, The Deregulated Muse (Bloodaxe), was published in 1998, as was his acclaimed anthology The Firebox: Poetry in Britain and Ireland after 1945 (Picador). His Newcastle Bloodaxe Poetry lectures, Journey to the Interior: Ideas of England in Contemporary Poetry are published in 2012. He has edited a selection from Andrew Marvell (Faber 2011) and, with Don Paterson, The Rest on the Flight: Selected Poems of Peter Porter (2010).
His collection of short stories, The Silence Room, appeared from Comma Press in 2008 and his novel Afterlife in from Picador in 2009. He has translated Dante's Inferno and the poems of Corsino Fortes. His plays include The Birds, Laughter When We're Dead, and Keepers of the Flame. His translation of Calderon's The Grand Comedy of the Prodigious Magician is to be staged in 2013.
He contributes to The Guardian, The Sunday Times and the Times Literary Supplement. Radio work includes versions of Zamyatin's We, Greene's The Ministry of Fear and a forthcoming Radio 4 documentary on Ted Lewis, the author of Get Carter.
Current projects include a new book of poems and a novel. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Lectuer and then Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University (1998-2006)
2012 - shortlisted for Internationa; Griffin Poetry Award (November)
2008 - T.S.Eliot Prize (The Drowned Book)
2007 - Forward Prize for best collection (The Drowned Book)
2007 - Northern Rock Writer's Award
2006 - Forward Poetry Prize (Best Single Poem) ('Fantasia on a Theme of James Wright')
2001 – Forward Prize for Best Collection (Downriver)
2001 – Northern Writer of the Year (Northern Arts; administered by New Writing North)
1995 - Forward Prize for Best Collection (Ghost Train)
1993 - E.M. Forster Award (American Academy of Arts and Letters)
1992 - Arts Council Writer’s Bursary
1988 - Cholmondeley Award
1984 - Somerset Maugham Award
1979 - Gregory Award