Al Alvarez is a poet, novelist, literary critic and non-fiction writer. He studied English and worked as an editor with The Observer. His poetry anthology The New Poetry (1962), in which he placed the American style over the British, earned him negative critiques at first. Praise followed decades later, for instance in the shape of a Royal Society of British Literature medal. His study on suicide, The Savage God (1974), is well-known, as are his autobiography Where Did It All Go Right? (1999) and the more recent Risky Business (2007).