While Downriver contains the English urban pastoral and hymns to the Northern deities for which Sean O'Brien is justly celebrated, the poet has always been more a singer than even his many admirers have sometimes conceded: here, that lyric note is sounded more openly than ever before.
With Downriver, his fifth collection, O'Brien has produced his most various and mature work yet. This is a poetry of both delicacy and gravity, assuagement as well as agitation, rivers that start in hell but later fall as rain - and will only strengthen his reputation as one of the most gifted English poets at work today.
Sean O'Brien's poetry has received numerous awards, including the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize (three times), the E.M Forster Award and the Roehampton Poetry Prize. His Collected Poems appeared in 2012. Europa is his ninth collection. His work has been published in several languages. His novel Once Again Assembled Here was published in 2016. He is also a critic, editor, translator, playwright and broadcaster. Born in London, he grew up in Hull. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.