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Olaf Tyaransen (born in Dublin on February 10, 1971) is an Irish poet, author and journalist, currently based in the west of Ireland. Infamous for his hedonistic lifestyle and controversial views (especially in the area of drug legalisation), he is a contributing editor with Dublin’s Hot Press magazine and a regular columnist with the Evening Herald. His journalism has appeared in Rolling Stone, Mojo, Penthouse, Sunday Independent, and dozens of other publications.

Contents

Life

Olaf Paul Tyaransen was born in Dublin on February 10, 1971, to an Irish mother and English-Norwegian father. The family moved to Galway in 1977, where Tyaransen attended St. Enda’s College on Threadneedle Road. He was expelled from the school just a week before his Leaving Certificate. With university not an option, Tyaransen left home and became a barman in popular Salthill nightclub The Warwick, where he began reviewing and interviewing the many musical acts who played there. He began contributing film reviews to the Galway Advertiser in 1988, and later edited a popular local freesheet called The Word. He began writing for Dublin’s Hot Press magazine in 1991, and to this day holds the position of their ‘Writer-At-Large’.

From 1994 - 1996, he managed popular Irish rock act, the Far Canals. The band released one album If You See K (on Hunter S. Records) before imploding. In 2005/2006, Tyaransen lived on the Thai island of Koh Pha Ngan, contributing a popular Hot Press column called Temporarily Thairish.

Books

Tyaransen’s first book, a poetry collection entitled The Consequences of Slaughtering Butterflies, was published by Salmon Poetry to considerable acclaim in 1992. In 2000 he released The Story Of O (which he described as “an accidental autobiography”), leading the Irish Times to hail him as “One of this country’s more interesting, and gifted, young writers.” The Sunday Times called him “the enfant terrible of Irish journalism.”

In October 2001, Tyaransen visited the Ukraine to report on the phenomenon of internet bridal agencies. The resulting opus was published in Sex Lines (2002). The book also featured his reports on British spanking parties and the Hungarian porn industry (Tyaransen reported on the making of the Private hardcore film Devil in the Flesh).

In 2004, he released Palace of Wisdom, a bestselling collection of his Hot Press interviews. Interviewees included Allen Ginsberg, Nick Cave, Will Self, William Gibson, Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode), Adam Clayton (U2), DBC Pierre, Gerry Adams, Liam Gallagher, Grace Jones, Howard Marks, Sinead O’Connor, Shane MacGowan, Candace Bushnell, and many others.

Notorious dandy and controversialist Sebastian Horsley once wrote of him: “His mind is a church; his pen is a brothel.” Irvine Welsh said: “Olaf is one of the last true believers, swimming with a smile in a pool infested with cynics, poseurs and careerists. And the great thing is he makes you worry more for them than for him.”

Politics

Tyaransen is an outspoken campaigner for the legalisation of drugs, and regularly writes on this subject and engages in radio, television and university debates. In 1997, Tyaransen formed the Cannabis Legalisation Party with UCC law lecturer Tim Murphy, and stood in the Irish general election as a candidate for the Dublin constituency of Dun Laoighaire-Rathdown. Although he polled just 348 first preferences, he says his intention was simply to make a point: “Most drugs aren’t prohibited because they’re dangerous, they’re dangerous because they’re prohibited.” The Cannabis Legalisation Party has since disbanded and he is not affiliated with any other political party.

Journalism

Tyaransen remains a regular contributor to Hot Press, and has written more than 50 cover stories for the magazine. Recent cover interviews include Snow Patrol, Muse, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Lady GaGa and U2. For the Evening Herald, he writes the popular “anti-social diary”, The O-Zone. which appears every Tuesday. On Saturdays, he reviews cult literary classics in his Booksnake column. His journalism is widely syndicated internationally. In 2009, he was shortlisted for Journalist of the Year at the Irish Magazine Awards.

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