Owen Sheers was born in Fiji in 1974 and brought up in Abergavenny, South Wales. He was educated at King Henry VIII comprehensive school, Abergavenny, New College, Oxford, and at the University of East Anglia where he did an MA in Creative Writing.
The winner of an Eric Gregory Award and the 1999 Vogue Young Writer’s Award, his first collection of poetry, The Blue Book (Seren, 2000) was short-listed for the Wales Book of the Year and the Forward Poetry Prize Best 1st Collection, 2001. His debut prose work The Dust Diaries (Faber 2004), a non-fiction narrative set in Zimbabwe, was short-listed for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize and won the Wales Book of the Year 2005.
In 2004 Owen was Writer in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust and was selected as one of the Poetry Book Society’s 20 Next Generation Poets. Owen’s 2nd collection of poetry, Skirrid Hill (Seren, 2005) won a 2006 Somerset Maugham Award. 'Unicorns, almost' his one man play based on the life and poetry of the WWII poet Keith Douglas was developed by Old Vic, New Voices.
Owen’s first novel, Resistance' (UK Faber, 2007/ US Nan Talese/Doubleday 2008) has been translated into ten languages and was short listed for the Writer's Guild of Great Britain Best Book Award 2008 and won a 2008 Hospital Club Creative Award. The film of this novel, which Owen co-wrote, is due to go into production in Autumn 2010. In 2007 Owen collaborated with composer Rachel Portman onThe Water Diviner’s Tale, an oratorio for children which was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms. In 2007/8 Owen was a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library.
In 2009 Owen published the novella 'White Ravens', a contemporary response to the myth of Branwen Daughter of Llyr, written as part of Seren's series of 'New Stories from the Mabinogion. he also published an anthology of British landscape poetry to accompany his TV series of the same title, 'A Poet's Guide to Britain.
Owen has also written journalism and reportage for Granta, The Guardian, Esquire, GQ, The Times, The Financial Times, and a play for BBC Radio 4 about the WWII poet Alun Lewis, 'If I Should Go Away'.
He has played Wilfred Owen on stage and has presented arts programmes for BBC Wales.In 2009 he wrote and presented the BBC 4 series about poetry and the British landscape, A Poet's Guide to Britain.He has also presented 'The Art of the Sea' for BBC 4 and several programmes for BBC Radio 3 and 4.In 2008 he presented two episodes of BBC Radio 4's 'Open Book' programme.