Sean O’Brien has written seven collections of poetry. The Drowned Book (2007) won the Forward and T. S. Eliot prizes. Cousin Coat: Selected Poems 1976–2001 appeared in 2002. His other work includes the book of essays The Deregulated Muse (1998), the verse plays The Birds (2002) and Keepers of the Flame (2003) and a verse translation of Dante’s Inferno (2006). In 2008 his collection of short stories, The Silence Room, was published, followed in 2009 by his novel Afterlife. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.
Visit Sean O'Brien's website
A Friday poem from Sean O'Brien.
From Sean O'Brien's The Drowned Book.
Novelist and poet Helen Dunmore introduces Sean O’Brien’s classic poetry collection The Drowned Book.
Read a poem from Sean O'Brien's poetry collection The Beautiful Librarians, which has been shortlisted for the 2015 T S Eliot Prize.
By Sean O'Brien
The clocks go back. As the light fails
Down on the path by the Metro line
Where yellow leaves have drifted overnight
Against the wire fences, men walk with dogs
by Sean O’Brien
Its poplars and willows and sludge. Its gnat-clouds.
Smell of cooling animal at dusk. Grey-greenness.
Soup-suspension. Its having been
Here all along. It is nowhere, serves nothing, lives
On your behalf when you are absent.
by Sean O'Brien
Whether you stay or go, you hear
The water brushing at the threshold
And the long wave comes and carries you –
Home, home, as far as far,
The new design style for Picador’s collected and selected poetry books began with the hardback edition of Sean O’Brien’s Collected Poems, where I was trying to create something simple yet striking, collectable, and most importantly true to the poetry.
Poetry editor Sarah Blake picks out some Picador poems with a watery theme
Picador poets Jackie Kay, Carol Ann Duffy and Sean O'Brien have been shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award.
Two Picador poets make it on to the Forward Prize shortlists . . .