Biography Brian Patten
Brian Patten was born in 1946 in Liverpool, and grew up in the docklands. He left school at fifteen, becoming a junior reporter on The Bootle Times, with responsibility for writing the popular music column. One of his first pieces included a report about McGough and Henri. This led on to him producing and editing the magazine Underdog, which gave a platform to the underground poets in Liverpool at that time.
His own work came fully to public attention with the publication of Little Johnny\'s Confession in 1967, when he was twenty-one years old. Since then he has written numerous adult poetry collections, including Vanishing Trick (1976) Armada (1996), which includes some of his most striking poems, focusing on the death of his mother and his memories of childhood. Penguin recently published his Selected Poems (February 2007), and at the same time Harper Perennial published one of his most important books, The Collected Love Poems.
Patten is also well-known for his best-selling poetry collections for children, most famously Gargling with Jelly: A Collection of Poems (1985) and Juggling with Gerbils (2000). His collection for children, The Blue and Green Ark: An Alphabet for Planet Earth (1999), won a Cholmondeley Award in 2002. He has also written a novel for children, Mr Moon\'s Last Case (1975), which won an award from the Mystery Writers of America Guild.
Brian Patten also edits poetry anthologies, most notably The Puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry (1998), and The Puffin Book of Modern Childrenâs Verse (2006) Brian Patten\'s latest books are The Story Giant, which contains ghost stories, fables and morality tales for both adults and children, and Ben\'s Magic Telescope - a picture book for children about âseeing, not just looking.â
His life story as one of the three Liverpool poets is told by Phil Bowen in A Gallery To Play To: the story of The Mersey Poets (Stride: 1999), and a critical study of his work, Brian Patten, was published by Northcote House in 1997. (Writers and Their Work series) He lives between London and Devon and has been honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Litrature and of both Liverpool University and John Moores University.