Brian Patten

Brian Patten

Poems and Monologues  |  Seated

Brian Patten at The Wharf

Are You Across The River or Am I?

I was walking along a river bank,
A man on the other side
Shouted, “How do I get across?”
“You are across,” I replied.

Brian revisits a number of classic favourites, plus the performance also combines two very different strands of his most recent poetry. His new book, inspired by comic stories that date back centuries, is The Book of Upside Down Thinking. It’s an unexpected collection, full of wit and irrational logic which rattles the cage of conventional thinking. Alongside excerpts from this roller-coaster ride of wit and wisdom, he shares haunting lyrical poems from an as yet unpublished manuscript of moving elegies.
One of the UK’s most distinctive and popular poets, Brian Patten has been writing heartbreakingly honest, funny and uplifting poems for nearly five decades. A master of performance, his readings are always memorable. Describing a typical performance of his work, The Scotsman wrote, “Humour, sincerity, sheer brilliance- not to be missed.”
When I broke the mirror I bought a new one.
I didn’t like what I saw,
So I took it back to the shop and asked for one
Like the one I’d bought some years before.

“If donkeys had souls where would they go
When the time came to say farewell?”
“To the place that has the most carrots,” I said,
“Whether it’s Heaven or Hell.”
Brian Patten made his name in the 1960s as one of the Liverpool Poets, alongside Adrian Henri and Roger McGough. His individual strength within this trio lay in his ability to write and perform a powerful mix of serious and humorous work. Their joint anthology, The Mersey Sound (1967), has been credited as the most significant anthology of the twentieth century for its success in bringing poetry to new audiences and is now in Penguin Modern Classics.
He has published over forty books and his poems are translated into many European languages. They include Collected Love Poems (HarperCollins) and Selected Poems (Penguin Books) His books for children include The Story Giant, Gargling With Jelly, and Juggling With Gerbils. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. A new stage version of his book The Story Giant premiered at the Liverpool Everyman in 2017.
The Book of Upside Down Thinking is published by ForgetMeNotBooks and is available from all good bookshops and from Amazon contact:

Sun 28th Oct7:30pm
All Tickets £10.00
Wharf Music Club £9.00
Friends of the Wharf £9.00

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