Sean O’Brien

Major national poet Sean O’Brien headlines an evening of poetry and music with award winning poets Pamela Brough, James Caruth, Jane Kinton and Roger Elkin.

Sean O’Brien, a poet, critic, translator, editor, playwright, novelist, broadcaster, and experienced writing tutor and mentor, was born in London, grew up in Hull and has lived for the last thirty years in Newcastle. His ninth poetry collection, Europa, was published in 2018 and shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. His Collected Poems appeared in 2012. His poetry has received various awards including the T.S. Eliot, Forward and Roehampton Poetry prizes. His tenth collection, It Says Here, will be published in May this year.

In 2016 his second novel, Once Again Assembled Here, and a chapbook of poetry and photographs, Hammersmith, were published. His second collection of short stories, Quartier Perdu, appeared in 2018.  He has translated poetry from a number of languages into English and is currently working on the Complete Works of the Kazakh National Poet, Abai, for a bilingual edition which will be published by Cambridge University Press later this year to mark the 175th anniversary of Abai’s birth. Sean is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Published quotation from The Irish Times:

‘Europa, [Sean O’Brien’s] ninth collection of poems, situates his familiar preoccupation with the condition of England and Englishness against the recent political earthquake of the Brexit referendum. It does this in ways that are never simplistic, obvious, or tub-thumping, and such is his immense skill that you never see the joins…

‘…O’Brien is, first and foremost, a lyric poet of tremendous technical skill, and in Europa this is brought to bear both on direct satirical targets (The ChaseSabbatical) as well as on more “conventional” lyric subjects (From the Cherry HillsHotel Marine).

‘It is the brilliant and unshowy concision of these forms that is most impressive: not a syllable is out of place in the muscular, flexible line O’Brien wields with such ease he makes you forget how difficult it is to do. In both technical mastery and his belief in the seriousness of the poetic art, O’Brien is WH Auden’s true inheritor. It is reassuring that poetry of this quality is still being written.’

Music – John Pursaill.

Tickets £7 from  and on the door

Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek, 7.30pm




May 29 2020


7:30 pm