Conor O'Callaghan was born in 1968 in Newry, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Dundalk, just south of the Irish border. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Bess Hokin Prize (Poetry Magazine) in 2007, The Times Educational Fellowship in 1997, The Rooney Prize Special Award in 1996, The Patrick Kavanagh Award in 1993, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 1994.
O'Callaghan's first two books were published in Ireland by Gallery Press. Wake Forest University Press, his publisher in North America, published Seatown and Earlier Poems in 2000, and his latest volume, Fiction, in December 2005.
He has reviewed poetry extensively, especially for the Times Literary Supplement and the Irish Times. Apart from poetry, O'Callaghan has written widely on sport, especially soccer and cricket. 'One-One,' his comic prose memoir in The Dublin Review about the public furor surrounding Ireland's involvement in the 2002 football World Cup grew into his book Red Mist - Roy Keane and the Football Civil War (Bloomsbury, 2004). He has served as director of Poetry Now in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, one of the biggest annual poetry festivals in the British Isles. He has regularly participated in the Arts Council Writers-in-Schools programs, and has taught creative writing courses in Ireland and throughout the United States.
He lives in Manchester, England, with his wife, poet Vona Groarke, and their two children, Tommy and Eve, and teaches creative writing at Wake Forest University in North Carolina during spring semesters.