Professor Sean O'Brien
Professor of Creative Writing
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3875
- Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 8708
Sean O’Brien is a poet, critic, playwright, anthologist, broadcaster, novelist and editor. He grew up in Hull and now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has published seven collections of poetry to date, including Downriver (2007) and November (2011). His Collected Poems was published in 2012. A Chinese and English parallel text edition of new and selected poems, The River Road, was published in Beijing in 2014.
His book of essays on contemporary poetry, The Deregulated Muse, was published in 1998, as was his acclaimed anthology The Firebox: Poetry in Britain and Ireland after 1945. His Newcastle Bloodaxe Poetry lectures were published as Journey to the Interior: Ideas of England in Contemporary Poetry (2012). He has edited a selection from Andrew Marvell (2011) and, with Don Paterson, The Rest on the Flight: Selected Poems of Peter Porter (2010), and Train Songs: Poetry of the Railways (2013).
His collection of short stories, The Silence Room, appeared in 2008 and his novel, Afterlife, 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 Tirso de Molina's Spanish Golden Age comedy Don Gil of the Green Breeches was staged in Bath in 2013, and in London and Coventry in 2014.
He contributes to the Guardian, The Independent and the Times Literary Supplement. Radio work includes versions of Zamyatin's We, Greene's The Ministry of Fear and a Radio 4 documentary on Ted Lewis, the author of Get Carter.
Current projects include a new book of poems, a second novel and a second collection of short stories. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Lecturer and then Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University (1998-2006)
Honours and Awards
2012 - shortlisted for Griffin International Poetry Award, the T.S.Eliot, Forward and
Costa Poetry Prizes (November)
2009 - Novi Sad International Writer's Award
2007 - 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
- O'Brien S. 'Cities', 'Europeans', 'Tables and Chairs', 'Another Country'. In: Herbert, WN; Yang, L, ed. The Third Shore: Chinese and English-Language Poets in Mutual Translation. Bristol & Shanghai: Shearsman & East China Normal University Press, 2013, pp.176-183.
- O'Brien S. Auden in Prose. In: Sharpe, T, ed. W.H. Auden in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp.329-336.
- O'Brien S. Collected Poems. London: Picador, 2012.
- O'Brien S. Journeys to the Interior: Ideas of England in Contemporary Poetry. Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe, 2012.
- O'Brien S. The Unknown City: the poetry of Larkin, Dunn and Didsbury. In: Cockin, KM, ed. The Literary North. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp.145-156.
- O'Brien S. Reading Stevens in the Bath; Indian Summer; Blizzard; Elegy; Immortals. In: Wardle, G, ed. In Your Own Time: The Northern Poetry Workshop Anthology. Nottingham, UK: Shoestring Press, 2012, pp.85-95.
- O'Brien S. November. London: Picador, 2011.
- O'Brien S, Paterson D, ed. The Rest on the Flight: Selected Poems of Peter Porter. London: Picador, 2010.
- O'Brien S, ed. Andrew Marvell: poems selected by Sean O’Brien. London: Faber & Faber, 2010.
- O'Brien S. Afterlife. London: Picador, 2009.
- Aris B, O'Brien S. Night Train. Newcastle upon Tyne: Flambard Press, 2009.
- O'Brien S. Introduction. In: Donaghy, M, ed. Collected Poems of Michael Donaghy. London, UK: Picador, 2009, pp.vii-xviii.
- Herbert WN, O'Brien S, ed. Lit: New Writing from the School of English, Newcastle University. Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle University, 2009.
- Padel R, O'Brien S. Barque Bernaque. Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts, 2009.
- O'Brien S. The Silence Room. Manchester: Comma Press, 2008.
- Fortes C, O'Brien S (trans.), Hahn D (trans.). Corsino Fortes: Poems. London, UK: Enitharmon Press, 2008.
- O'Brien S. The Drowned Book. London: Picador, 2007.
- O'Brien S. Introduction to Poetry; The Poet in the Theatre: Verse Drama; Publishing Poetry in Britain. In: Earnshaw, S, ed. The Handbook of Creative Writing. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007, pp.183-198; 229-235; 391-397.
- O'Brien S. A Version of The Birds in Two Productions. In: Hall, E; Wrigley, A, ed. Aristophanes in Performance, 421BC-AD2007: Peace, Birds and Frogs. Leeds: Maney Publishing, 2007, pp.276-286.
- Alighieri D, O'Brien S (trans.). Inferno: a verse translation. London: Picador, 2006.
- O'Brien S. 'Praise of a Rainy Country', 'The Brazier', 'Symposium at Port Louis'. In: Greenlaw, L; Habila, H, ed. NW14: The Anthology of New Writing. London: Granta Books, 2006, pp.251-257.
- Earnshaw S, Markham EA, O'Brien S, ed. Ten Hallam Poets. Sheffield: Mews Press, 2005.
- O'Brien S. Keepers of the Flame. London: Methuen, 2003.
- O'Brien S. Laughter When We're Dead. In: Roberts, M, ed. Live Theatre: six plays from the North East. London: Methuen Drama, 2003, pp.159-256.
- O'Brien S. Peter Porter, 1929 -. In: Parini, J, ed. World Writers in English. New York, USA: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003, pp.535-551.
- O'Brien S. Cousin coat: Selected Poems, 1976-2001. London: Picador, 2002.
- Aristophanes, O'Brien S (adapted by). The Birds. London: Methuen, 2002.
- O'Brien S. Downriver. London: Picador, 2001.
- O'Brien S. Contemporary British Poetry. In: Roberts, N, ed. A Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry. London: Blackwell Publishers, 2001, pp.571-584.
- O'Brien S. After the War: an epic poem exploring life in Britain and Ireland from 1945 to the present. 2019. In Preparation.
- O'Brien S. Quartier Perdu. Manchester: Comma Press, 2016. In Preparation.
- O'Brien S. Certain Measures. In: Amos, M; Page, R, ed. Beta Life: Short Stories from an A-Life Future. Manchester: Comma Press, 2015, pp.163-170.
- Hahn D, O'Brien S. Selected Poems of Corsino Fortes. Brooklyn, NY, USA: Island Position, 2015.
- O'Brien SP. The Beautiful Librarians. London: Picador, 2015.
- O'Brien S. The Globe Has Spun: Seamus Heaney's "Alphabets". Poetry Ireland Review 2014, (113), 59-60.
- O'Brien S, Paterson D, ed. Train Songs: Poetry of the Railway. London: Faber & Faber, 2014.
- O'Brien S. 'At the Wellgate', 'Dundee Heatwave'. In: Herbert, WN; Jackson, A, ed. Whaleback city: the poetry of Dundee and its hinterland. Dundee: Dundee University Press, 2013.
- O'Brien S. 'Thirteen O'Clocks'. In: Ahren Warner and Roddy Lumsden, ed. The Best British Poetry 2013. Cromer, Norfolk: Salt Publishing, 2013.