With an introduction by Helen Dunmore
Come for a walk down the river road,
For though you're all a long time dead
The waters part to let us pass
The way we'd go on summer nights
In the times we were children
And thought we were lovers.
The Drowned Book is a work of memory, commemoration and loss, dominated by elegies for those the author has loved and admired. Sean O'Brien's exquisite collection is powerfully affecting, sad and often deeply funny; but it is also a dramatically compelling book - disquieting, even - and full of warnings. As the book unfolds, O'Brien's verse occupies an increasingly dark, subterranean territory - where the waters are rising, threatening to overwhelm and ruin the world above.
Winner of both the T. S. Eliot and Forward prizes, The Drowned Book is an extraordinary collection, a classic from one of the leading poets of our time.
Sean O'Brien is a poet, critic, playwright, broadcaster, anthologist and editor. He grew up in Hull and now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne; he is Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University and teaches on the MA Writing course. His five collections of poetry to date have all won awards, most recently Downriver (Picador, 2001), which won the Forward Prize for best collection. In 2002 Cousin Coat: Selected Poems 1976-2001 was published by Picador. His book of essays on contemporary poetry, The Deregulated Muse (Bloodaxe), was published in 1998, as was his acclaimed anthology The Firebox: Poetry In Britain And Ireland After 1945 (Picador). His most recent work is a verse translation of Dante's Inferno, which Picador published in 2006.