Europa, Sean O'Brien's ninth collection of poems, is a timely and necessary book. Europe is not a place we can choose to leave: it is also a shared heritage and an age-old state of being, a place where our common dreams, visions and nightmares recur and mutate. In placing our present crises in the context of an imaginative past, O'Brien show how our futures will be determined by what we choose to understand of our own European identity - as well as what we remember and forget of our shared history.
Europa is a magisterial, grave and lyric work from one of the finest poets of the age: it shows not just a Europe haunted by disaster and the threat of apocalypse, but an England where the shadows lengthen and multiply even in its most familiar and domestic corners. Europa, the poet reminds us, shapes the fate of everyone in these islands - even those of us who insist that they live elsewhere.
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.