Olaf Tyaransen was born in Dublin in 1971, but spent his formative years in the west of Ireland. His poetry collection, The Consequences of Slaughtering Butterflies, was published by Salmon in 1992. He has since written an autobiography, The Story of O (2000) and three bestselling collections of journalism, Sex Lines (2002), Palace of Wisdom (2004) and Selected Recordings 2000-2010 (2010).
Described by the Irish Times as “one of this country’s more interesting, and gifted, young writers,” and by the Sunday Times as “the enfant terrible of Irish journalism,” Olaf hit the headlines in 1997 when he stood as a ‘Cannabis Legalisation’ candidate in the Irish general election.
A former columnist with the Evening Herald and Sunday Independent, and an irregular broadcaster on TV, radio and online, his journalism has appeared in Rolling Stone, Mojo, Penthouse, Time Out and numerous other newspapers and magazines around the world.
Having joined them in 1992, Olaf also holds the position of ‘Writer At Large’ with Hot Press and has written more than 200 cover stories for the magazine – including notorious interviews with Lady Gaga, Allen Ginsberg, Nick Cave, Hugh Hefner, Damien Rice, Larry Flynt, Johnny Adair, Hugh Hefner, U2, Dolly Parton, Sinead O’Connor, Will Self, Gerry Adams, Candace Bushnell, and many others.
U2’s Bono has said of him, “It’s easy to forget you’re being interviewed when talking to Olaf, which is probably what makes him so good. He’s a beguiling character... I always feel I should be interviewing him.”
In 2013 he was named Journalist of the Year at the Irish Magazine Awards.
An acclaimed film based on Olaf’s short story Don’t You Know Who I Am? – directed by Paul Duane and starring Larry Love of the Alabama 3 – was released in April 2014.