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J. O. Morgan
Born 1978 (age 42–43)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Poet
Notable works At Maldon,
The Martian's Regress
Notable awards Costa Poetry Award

J. O. Morgan (born 1978) is a poet from Edinburgh, Scotland. The latest of his seven volumes of verse is set in the far future, when humans "lose their humanity."


He is the author of seven poetry volumes, each of which is a single book-length work. His fifth book Interference Pattern was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize, his first book, Natural Mechanical, having won the Aldeburgh Poetry Prize in 2009.

Morgan's third work, At Maldon (2014), revisits the Old English epic Battle of Maldon and details the events that took place on the Essex coast in AD 991. A recording of Morgan reading At Maldon was made for the Poetry Archive on 27 May 2014. He has recited the whole work from memory on several occasions.

Royal Air Force involvement in maintaining the Airborne Nuclear Deterrent in the early Cold War period forms the basis for Morgan's sixth publication, Assurances (2018). It was shortlisted for the Forward Prize and then won the Costa Poetry Award, the judges praising it as "original, compelling, ambitious, highly accomplished and marvellously sustained".

Morgan's most recent work, The Martian's Regress (2020), is set in the far future. It considers "what humans become when they lose their humanity," and explores "what a fragile environment eventually makes of those who persist in tampering with it."


  • The Martian's Regress (Jonathan Cape, 2020)
  • Assurances (Jonathan Cape, 2018)
  • Interference Pattern (Jonathan Cape, 2016)
  • In Casting Off (HappenStance Press, 2015)
  • At Maldon (CB editions, 2013)
  • Long Cuts (CB editions, 2011)
  • Natural Mechanical (CB editions 2009)

Awards and recognition

  • 2020 – T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry (shortlist) – The Martian's Regress
  • 2018 – Costa Poetry Award (won) – Assurances
  • 2018 – Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection (shortlist) – Assurances
  • 2016 – T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry (shortlist) – Interference Pattern
  • 2016 – Saltire Society Poetry Award (shortlist) – Interference Pattern
  • 2016 – Poetry Book Society Recommendation – Interference Pattern
  • 2014 – Saltire Society Poetry Award (shortlist) – At Maldon
  • 2012 – Scottish Poetry Book Award (shortlist) – Long Cuts
  • 2010 – Scottish Poetry Book Award (shortlist) – Natural Mechanical
  • 2009 – Aldeburgh Poetry Prize (won) – Natural Mechanical
  • 2009 – Forward Poetry Prize for First Collection (shortlist) – Natural Mechanical
  • 2009 – Poetry Book Society Recommendation – Natural Mechanical
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