Ben Myers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ben Myers
BornJanuary 1976
Durham, County Durham, England
OccupationWriter and journalist
Alma materUniversity of Bedfordshire
Notable awardsThe Portico Prize For Literature. The Gordon Burn Prize. Roger Deakin Award. Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.
SpouseAdelle Stripe

Benjamin Myers (born January 1976) is an English writer[1] and journalist.

Early life[edit]

Myers grew up in Belmont, County Durham,[2] and was a pupil at the estate's local comprehensive school where he become interested in reading and skateboarding.[3]

Myers attended his first concert in Durham in March 1990, when he was fourteen. Headlined by Steadfast, it led to him forming the punk rock band Sour Face the next year. The band quickly became involved in the Durham hardcore punk scene, alongside Steadfast, False Face and XdisciplineX. Despite being one of the few bands in the scene that was not straight edge, Sour Face became the mascots of the scene, with their third performance seeing them open for NOFX. Voorhees' first performance was opening for Sour Face in September 1991.[4]

As a teenager Myers began writing for British weekly Melody Maker. In 1997 he became their staff writer while residing in the Oval Mansions squat for several years. In 2011 he published an article, about his brief time as an intern at News of the World.[5] He has spoken about failing English Literature at A-level and being rejected by "more than a hundred" universities before being accepted by the University of Bedfordshire (formerly Luton University).


Myers' books span literary fiction, nature/landscape writing, crime, historical fiction and poetry. He has been translated into eight languages. As a journalist, he has written about literature, music and the arts for a number of publications including New Statesman, Mojo, The Guardian, NME, The Spectator, BBC, New Scientist, Alternative Press, Kerrang!, Plan B, Arena, Bizarre, The Quietus, Vice, Shortlist, Caught by the River, Metal Hammer, The Morning Star, Classic Rock, 3:AM Magazine, Mineshaft and Time Out.

His novel The Offing (2019) featured on Radio 4's Book At Bedtime, was a Radio 2 Book Club choice and chosen as a book of the year in The Times. The audio book was narrated by actor Ralph Ineson.

Myers' book The Gallows Pole (2017), a novelisation of the true story of the Cragg Vale Coiners, received a Roger Deakin Award and won the 2018 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction.[6] As part of the prize, both author and book title appeared as the official Royal Mail franking stamp for a week on an estimated 60 million pieces of mail. The Gallows Pole was signed by Third Man Books, part of Third Man Records, for publication in the US/Canada.[7] In 2021 the BBC announced an adaptation of the novel by director Shane Meadows. The show will be produced by Element Pictures, whose previously adapted Normal People, Dublin Murders, and The Favourite.[8]

Beastings (2014) won the Portico Prize For Literature and the Northern Writers' Award. It was also longlisted for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.

In 2014 Myers won the Society of Author's Tom-Gallon Trust Award[9] for his short story, 'The Folk Song Singer'. He was runner-up in the same prize in 2018 for his story 'A Thousand Acres Of English Soil'. His poem 'The Path To Pendle Hill' was selected by New Statesman as one of its Poems Of The Year 2015[10] and work from the same collection were read by Myers on BBC1 programme Countryfile.

Pig Iron (2012) was set in the traveller/gypsy community of the north-east of England and was the first to be published under his full name Benjamin Myers. It won the inaugural Gordon Burn Prize[11] and was longlisted for 3:AM's 'Novels of the Year'[12] and runner-up in The Guardian's 'Not The Booker Prize',[13] in the same year.

Myers' second novel, Richard: A Novel (2010) was a fictionalized account of the life of musician Richey Edwards. It was published by Picador in October 2010, and polarised critical opinion.

Myers has published several poetry collections and written a number of music biographies which have been widely translated. He is a founding member of the Brutalists, a literary collective including authors Adelle Stripe and Tony O'Neill, and widely acknowledged as the first literary movement to be launched by social networking sites.

In late 2018 it was reported he had signed to Bloomsbury Publishing.[14] The deal was satirised in the 'Books & Bookmen' column in Private Eye.[15]

In 2019 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from York St John University.[16]




  • The Book of Fuck (Wrecking Ball Press, 2004) [17]
  • Richard: A Novel (Picador, 2010) [18]
  • Pig Iron (Bluemoose, 2012. Bloomsbury, 2019) [19]
  • Beastings (Bluemoose, 2014. Bloomsbury, 2019) [20]
  • The Gallows Pole (Bluemoose, 2017. Bloomsbury, 2019) [21]
  • The Offing (Bloomsbury, 2019) [22]
  • The Perfect Golden Circle (Bloomsbury, 2022)

Short Stories[edit]

  • Male Tears (Bloomsbury, 2021) [23]

Crime fiction[edit]

  • Turning Blue (Moth/Mayfly, 2016. Bloomsbury, 2022) [24]
  • These Darkening Days (Moth/Mayfly, 2017. Bloomsbury, 2022) [25]

Short fiction[edit]

  • The Whip Hand (Tangerine Press, 2018). Short story (Signed/limited edition handsewn chapbook) [26]
  • Snorri & Frosti (Galley Beggar Press / 3:AM Press, 2013). Novella (limited edition paperback and Ebook) [27]


  • American Heretics: Rebel Voices In Music (Codex, 2002) [28]
  • Under The Rock (Elliott & Thompson, 2018) [29]


  • I, Axl: An American Dream (online only, 2008–2009)
  • Spam: Email Inspired Poems (Blackheath, 2008) [30]
  • Nowhere Fast (co-written with Tony O'Neill and Adelle Stripe (Captains Of Industry, 2008)
  • The Raven of Jórvíkshire (Tangerine Press, 2017)
  • Heathcliff Adrift (New Writing North, 2014. Reissued 2018) [31]
  • The Offing: Poems by Romy Landau (Bloomsbury/Tangerine Press, 2019)

Music biography / essays[edit]


Personal life[edit]

Myers lives in the Calder Valley with his wife, the author Adelle Stripe.[49]


  1. ^ Myers, Benjamin (3 January 2020). "'I was half-insane with anxiety': how I wrote myself into a breakdown". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 January 2020 – via
  2. ^ Writing Durham: Ben Myers. 7 August 2019. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  3. ^ Myers, Benjamin. "Benjamin Myers on Durham: 'I spent a lot of time up trees or trespassing on roofs'". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  4. ^ Stewart, Ethan. "A Look at the '80s and '90s UK Straight Edge Hardcore Scenes". Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  5. ^ Myers, Ben (8 July 2011). "My Time Undercover At The News Of The World". Vice. Archived from the original on 24 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Benjamin Myers wins Walter Scott Prize 2018". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Jack White's imprint signs Benjamin Myers | The Bookseller".
  8. ^ Bley Griffiths, Eleanor. "BBC announces new Shane Meadows drama The Gallows Pole, based on 'the biggest fraud in British history'". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Tom-Gallon Trust Award | Society of Authors – Protecting the rights and furthering the interests of authors". Society of Authors. Archived from the original on 19 July 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Poems of the year".
  11. ^ "Benjamin Myers wins Gordon Burn Prize". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  12. ^ "3:AM Awards 2012: Longlist". 3:AM Magazine. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  13. ^ Jordison, Sam. "Not the Booker prize: The winner | Books". Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Myers moves to Bloomsbury for 'exquisite' novel | The Bookseller".
  15. ^ "Private Eye". 21 December 2018.
  16. ^ "York St John University announces 2019 honorary graduates". York St John University. 11 October 2019.
  17. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2004). The book of fuck. North Cave, East Yorkshire: Wrecking Ball Press. ISBN 1-903110-15-7. OCLC 56791363.
  18. ^ "Richard: Ben Myers: Books". Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  19. ^ "benjamin myers pig iron: Books". Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  20. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2019). Beastings. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. ISBN 978-1-5266-1122-2. OCLC 1111949459.
  21. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2019). The gallows pole. London. ISBN 978-1-5266-1115-4. OCLC 1102319901.
  22. ^ Cook, Jude (21 August 2019). "The Offing by Benjamin Myers review – poignant story of an unlikely friendship". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 January 2020 – via
  23. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2021). Male Tears. London, UK: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-5266-1134-5. OCLC 1238056757.
  24. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2016). Turning blue. Rainton Bridge. ISBN 978-1-911356-00-4. OCLC 945718656.
  25. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2017). These darkening days. Tyne and Wear, England. ISBN 978-1-911356-02-8. OCLC 990643416.
  26. ^ MYERS, BENJAMIN (2018). WHIP HAND. SICK FLY PUBLICATIONS. ISBN 1-910691-39-9. OCLC 1059320282.
  27. ^ "Snorri & Frosti by Ben Myers Ltd Edition Christmas paperback from 3AM Press – with added sparkles! – Galley Beggar Press". 1 December 2013. Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  28. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2002). American heretics : rebel voices in music. Hove: Codex. ISBN 1-899598-23-5. OCLC 50175926.
  29. ^ MYERS, BENJAMIN (2019). UNDER THE ROCK : the poetry of a place. ELLIOTT & THOMPSON LIMITE. ISBN 1-78396-436-7. OCLC 1079920878.
  30. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2008). Spam : email inspired poetry. [Llanteg]: Blackheath Books. ISBN 978-1-906099-07-7. OCLC 648080523.
  31. ^ MYERS, BENJAMIN (2018). HEATHCLIFF ADRIFT. MAYFLY Press. ISBN 1-911356-08-9. OCLC 1028232969.
  32. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2004). John Lydon : PiL, Pistols and anti-celebrity. London: Independent Music. ISBN 0-9539942-7-9. OCLC 56640176.
  33. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2005). Green Day : American idiots & the new punk explosion. Church Stretton: Independent Music Press. ISBN 0-9539942-9-5. OCLC 64553821.
  34. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2006). System of a Down : right here in Hollywood. Church Stretton: Independent Music. ISBN 978-0-9549704-6-8. OCLC 63136435.
  35. ^ Myers, Benjamin (2004). MUSE. London: Independent Music. ISBN 0-9539942-6-0. OCLC 56438421.
  36. ^ Lowry, Ray; Ben Myers (2007). The Clash. Warwick: Angry Penguin. ISBN 978-1-906283-36-0. OCLC 165412921.
  37. ^ "Northern Writers' Awards 2013". New Writing North. Archived from the original on 27 May 2021.
  38. ^ "Gordon Burn Prize 2013". Gordon Burn Prize. Archived from the original on 13 January 2017.
  39. ^ "Tom-Gallon Trust Award 2014". Society of Authors. Archived from the original on 6 August 2020.
  40. ^ "Fiction Uncovered Prize Longlist 2015". Jerwood Arts. Archived from the original on 21 January 2021.
  41. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (30 November 2015). "Myers and Benson win £10k Portico Literature Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  42. ^ Duffy, Kevin (29 December 2016). "The Society of Authors' Roger Deakin Award 2016". Bluemoose Books. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021.
  43. ^ Griffiths, Neil. "The Republic of Consciousness Prize longlist". TLS. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020.
  44. ^ "Past winners of the Tom-Gallon Trust Award". Society of Authors. Archived from the original on 6 August 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  45. ^ "Benjamin Myers wins Walter Scott Prize 2018". BBC Scotland. 18 June 2018.
  46. ^ "Le Prix Polars Pourpres". Polars Pourpres. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015.
  47. ^ "Portico Prize Shortlist 2020". The Portico Library. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019.
  48. ^ "Benjamin Myers' „Offene See" ist das Lieblingsbuch der Unabhängigen 2020". Buch Markt. 7 November 2020.
  49. ^ Charlesworth, Antonia (23 May 2022). "Radical and gently revolutionary". Big Issue North. Retrieved 16 July 2022.

External links[edit]