At the age of 23 he published his first book of poetry, Svarthol, and his first novel, Turninn, was published in 2000. He studied comparative literature and philosophy at the University of Iceland. In 2008 his book Konur received great critical and commercial success and was nominated for the Nordic Council literature prize. Current affairs, particularly the 2008–11 Icelandic financial crisis, are prominent in his work from 2008 onwards, such as Konur and Hálendið: Skáldsaga. Steinar Bragi is sometimes considered to be in the "new wave" of younger Icelandic authors influenced by popular culture and in his case the grotesque, with influences from horror writers such as H. P. Lovecraft. He is also notable as a poet.