Brian is an English writer and poet. He mainly writes for children and has over 200 published works and is especially well known as a children’s poet. His poetry books and anthologies for have sold in excess of 1 million copies. Brian began writing poems when he realised that he would never be a rock star – “I put the guitar to one side, but the songs carried on and became poems”. That original musical influence can still be heard in his work. While he rarely sings these days, he performs so that pauses, tone of voice and speed become a central part of the poem. Few poets can hold a syllable so well as Brian, whether it’s the hiss in ‘Sssssnake Hotel’ or the Tom Waits growl in ‘Walking with my Iguana’, which is in the Top 3 most listened to poems in the Poetry Archive. He still keeps music and a wonderful beat in his poems, his most famous poems are ‘SsssSnAKE HOTEL’, ‘WALKING WITH MY IGUANA’ and ‘SHOPPING TROLLEY’.
Brian was asked by CBBC to write a poem for the HM the Queen’s 80th birthday and was invited by HRH Prince Charles (now King Charles III) to speak at the Prince’s Summer School for Teachers at Cambridge University. He was also one of 10 children’s poets invited by the then Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, to feature in a website as part of the National Poetry Archive – launched in November 2005. Brian is also founder & co-director of a national Able Writers’ Scheme administered by Authors Abroad. His interests range from the familiar – Deaths, football matches – to the peculiar –monsters, aliens and angels. Often he will mix the two together in his poetry, so the ‘SHOPPING TROLLEY’ is souped-up like a futuristic sports car, while the monsters still go to school before coming home on ‘THE GHOUL SCHOOL BUS’. Brian has a particularly sharp eye for surreal moments in daily life – the man in ‘Walking with my Iguana’, who walks his pet on Hastings beach on a leash, is based on a real person. His first book for VP, ‘TROUBLE AT THE DINOSAUR CAFÉ’, will publish in 2023.