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Sean O'Brien on the O'Brien (Sean) Archive

Sean O'Brien on the O'Brien (Sean) Archive

Collected Voices

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Sean O'Brien was born on 19 December 1952 in London, and is a British poet, critic and playwright. O'Brien's book of essays on contemporary poetry, The Deregulated Muse (Bloodaxe), was published in 1998, as was his anthology The Firebox: Poetry in Britain and Ireland after 1945 (Picador). Cousin Coat: Selected Poems 1976–2001 (Picador) was published in 2002. Sean O'Brien's new verse version of Dante's Inferno was published by Picador in October 2006.

His six collections of poetry to date have all won awards, including the Eric Gregory Award (1979), the Somerset Maugham Award (1984), the Cholmondeley Award (1988), the Forward Poetry Prize (2001 and 2007) and the T. S. Eliot Prize (2007). In 2007 he won the Northern Rock Foundation Writer's Award, Forward Prize for Best Collection and the T. S. Eliot Prize for The Drowned Book (Picador, 2007). This was the first time a poet had been awarded the Forward and the Eliot prizes in the same year. In 2006, he was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and was previously Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University. He is a Vice-President of the Poetry Society. He was co-founder of the literary magazine The Printer's Devil and contributes reviews to newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times and The Times Literary Supplement and is a regular broadcaster on radio.

His writing for television includes 'Cousin Coat', a poem-film in Wordworks (Tyne Tees Television, 1991); 'Cantona', a poem-film in On the Line (BBC2, 1994); Strong Language, a 45-minute poem-film (Channel 4, 1997) and The Poet Who Left the Page, a profile of Simon Armitage (BBC4, 2002). Other significant work includes a radio adaptation for BBC Radio 4 of We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

His memories of Morden Tower

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Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts and the popularity of poetry readings

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On his Live Theatre residency alongside Julia Darling

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On his writing process for poetry

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On publishing his first poetry book 'The Indoor Park'

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On relationship with local poetry publishers Flambard Press and Iron Press

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On writing fiction and the publication of Afterlife and Once Asssembled Here

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On writing literary criticism

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