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J. O. Morgan
Born 1978 (age 44–45)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Poet
Notable works At Maldon,
The Martian's Regress
Notable awards Costa Poetry Award

J. O. Morgan (born 1978) is an author from Edinburgh, Scotland. The latest of his seven volumes of verse, The Martian's Regress, is set in the far future, when humans "lose their humanity." He has also published two novels: Pupa (2021) and Appliance (2022).


Each of Morgan's seven poetry volumes is a single book-length work. His fifth, Interference Pattern, was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and his first, Natural Mechanical, won the Aldeburgh Poetry Prize in 2009.

The third work, At Maldon (2014), revisits the Old English epic Battle of Maldon, detailing events that took place on the Essex coast in 991 CE. A recording of Morgan reading it 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 won the Costa Poetry Award, when the judges praised it as "original, compelling, ambitious, highly accomplished and marvellously sustained".

Morgan's most recent volume of poetry, 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."

Awards and recognition

  • 2022 – Orwell Prize for Political Fiction (finalist) – Appliance
  • 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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