Released on 28 June 2012.

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2002 Short-listed

T. S. Eliot Prize

2001 Winner

Forward Prize for Poetry Best Collection


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.