His poetry collections include
A State Of Justice (London, Faber & Faber, 1977); The Strange Museum (Faber & Faber, 1980); Liberty Tree Faber & Faber, 1983); Fivemiletown, Faber & Faber, 1987); Walking A Line (Faber & Faber 1994); The Wind Dog (Faber & Faber, 1999); and The Invasion Handbook, 2002); Selected Poems 1972-1990 (Faber & Faber, 1993); and The Road to Inver (Faber & Faber, 2004)).
He has edited two major anthologies, two versions of Greek drama, and several essay and critical works, including Thomas Hardy: The Poetry of Perception (Maryland, Roman and Littlefield, 1975); Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound (Cambridge University Press, 1983); Ireland and the English Crisis (Bloodaxe Books, 1985); Minotaur: Poetry in the Nation State (Faber & Faber, 1992); Writing to the Moment: Selected Critical Essays, 1980-95 (Faber & Faber, 1996); The Day-Star of Liberty: William Hazlitt’s Radical Style (Faber & Faber, 1998); Crusoe’s Secret: The Aesthetics of Dissent (Faber & Faber, 2009); and The Secret Life of Poems: A Poetry Primer (Faber & Faber, 2011).
His drama includes The Riot Act (after Antigone, by Sophocles),The Guildhall, Derry, The Field Day Theatre Company, 1985; The Hillsborough Script, 1987; and Seize The Fire, 1990.
Well known for his appearances on the BBC, he is also the G. M. Young Lecturer in English Literature at Hertford College, Oxford.