Brian Patten


Brian Patten was born in 1946 in Liverpool. He left school at fifteen, writing the occasional music column for the local music paper, The Mersey Beat. At sixteen he edited and produced the magazine underdog  in which many of the iconic poems in Penguin Modern Classic’s ground breaking anthology, The Mersey Sound, first appeared.

He writes for both adults and children and his books have been translated into many European languages. An accomplished performer, he has performed his work in venues as varied as The Islamic Students Union in Khartoum, Liverpool’s Cavern, and the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank.

Brian ‘gave up the day job’ when he was 18 and for a while lived rough in Paris,  paying his way by writing poems in coloured chalk on the pavements beside the city’s pavement artists. His first solo collection was Little Johnny's Confessions, published the same year as The Mersey Sound (1967), when he was twenty-one years old.  Penguin publish Brian’s Selected Poems and Harper Perennial publish one of his most important books, The Collected Love Poems. His latest book for children was Monster Slayer, a simplified version of Beowulf, with illustrations by Chris Riddell, published in 2016.

His latest collection of poetry is The Book Of Upside Down Thinking, published by Forget Me Not Books, an imprint of from you to me, in May 2018. Written in Morocco and inspired by 11th century folk stories from the near and middle east, this collection of witty, wise rhymes rattles the cage of conventional thinking by showing the world from a different perspective.

Brian has been honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of both Liverpool University and John Moores University.

Click on the cover to learn more about The Book Of Upside Down Thinking