Dan O’Brien is an American playwright and poet living in Los Angeles. He was raised near New York City and describes his family as working-class Irish-American. He started writing poetry at school, inspired by Anne Sexton, and won a scholarship to Brown University.
In 2007, he heard Pulitzer Prize-winning war reporter Paul Watson speak of being haunted by a soldier he had photographed in 1993 in Mogadishu. After meeting Watson, O’Brien turned their exchanges into the poems collected in War Reporter, his first collection. They have also collaborated on a play and an opera.