Sinéad Morrissey

Sinéad Morrissey (b. 1972, Portadown, County Armagh) was Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate, and is now Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. ‘I knew I wanted to write poetry seriously, all my life, from the age of ten onwards’, she says. She has published six collections, including the 2013 T. S. Eliot Prize–winning collection Parallax.

Morrissey describes her new collection, On Balance, as her ‘most cohesive book’ to date. ‘Just as it says on the tin the book interrogates ideas of balance — physical balance, structural balance, gender balance, ecological balance, life-death balance — and it does so using the high-wire act of poetic form as a conduit for that exploration.’ Combining a subtlety of touch with a powerful turn of phrase — one character finds in all things ‘the über-florid signature of God’ — Morrissey manages to hold narrative and lyric in delicate relation.

Forward Prizes History:

  • 2017 Forward Prizes for Best Collection, winner for On Balance (Carcanet)
  • 2013 Forward Prizes for Best Collection, shortlisted for Parallax (Carcanet)
  • 2010 Forward Prizes for Best Collection, shortlisted for Through the Square Window (Carcanet)