Sean O'Brien

2002 Nominee

T. S. Eliot Prize

2001 Winner

Forward Prize for Poetry Best Collection

06 April 2001
96 pages


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.