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Barry MacSweeney was born in 1948 in Newcastle. After leaving school at 16, he worked as a journalist, mainly in Newcastle, Kent, Bradford and South Shields. He published numerous collections, including an earlier Selected Poems in The Tempers of Hazrd, published and destroyed by Paladin in 1993, and The Book of Demons (Bloodaxe, 1997), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He won a Paul Hamlyn Award in 1997. He died in 2000.