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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 00:43 GMT 01:43 UK
O'Brien scoops top poetry prize
Sean O'Brien - photograph by Moira Conway
The Drowned Book is O'Brien's sixth collection
Sean O'Brien has become the first person to win the prestigious Forward Prize for Poetry three times.

O'Brien, 55, from Newcastle, was awarded the 10,000 prize for best collection for The Drowned Book.

A professor of creative writing at Newcastle University, he has won the Forward Prize for Poetry twice before, in 1995 and 2001.

Chair of the judges, writer Michael Symmons Roberts, said The Drowned Book was "beautifully constructed".

He added that the book, O'Brien's sixth collection of poems, was "witty and heart wrenching" and the poet's strongest work to date.

Nagra Daljit
Nagra works as an English teacher in north-west London

"A fully realised, highly accomplished collection, it is a sustained elegy for lost friends, landscapes and a decaying culture," he said.

Daljit Nagra, 40, from north-west London, scooped the best first collection award for Look We Have Coming to Dover!

The collection is described as a fresh and witty insight into the lives of British-born Indians.

Alice Oswald, 40, from Gloucestershire, took the best single poem award for Dunt.

The judging panel also included Radiohead guitarist Colin Greenwood, poet and playwright Glyn Maxwell, poet and performer Jean 'Binta' Breeze and Guardian Unlimited books editor Sarah Crown.

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