Brendan Hawthorne's poetry is rooted in the landscape and culture he loves and knows intimately: growing up on high rise estates; chatting in dusty pubs; working factory shifts. He's the only writer who could justly serve as Wednesbury Poet Laureate. His work does so much more than this too. Using his deeply ingrained sense of place, he writes with a beatnik sensibility; like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, he's always searching for higher, cosmic meaning and does so in the rhythmic voice of the everyday. His interest in the clash between working-class, Black Country dialect with more formalist traditions is reminiscent of Tony Harrison - indeed, Hawthorne is never one to shy away from tough subjects and poetic battering rams. Sixties and Seventies counterculture play a big role in his poetics too, as he manages to place Lizard King visions amongst the post-industrial rubble.  In reading and hearing Hawthorne's work, we enter a sensuous realm full of wry wit and unusual beauty, guided by a voice that has never lost the cinder from its lungs. He is common man and shaman.
Robert M. Francis


"I found your stories and poems and support
for everyone truly inspirational.
You filled the air with magic!"
Stuart Goodwin, 

Lichfield Poetry for the People



“Brendan Hawthorne delivers a tour de force spot with the “Retirement Speech of a Black Country Ventriloquist”, filled with pathos and introspection.”

(Garry Pally and Uncle Larry) SNUG 


 "An authentic Black Country voice, with a strong sense of place, whose message and words have universal appeal"

 Gary Longden - Behind The Arras

 Bilston Voices

"Brendan Hawthorne is a firm favourite at Cafe Metro (the home of Bilston Voices).  He never fails to delight, whether it be the perils of homemade tank-tops and dodgy perms or the ingenious development of a ‘Sotnev’ (Black Country satnav) in a garden shed in Tipton.  The audience were laughing out loud from the start and still wanting more at the finish!  Brendan's warmth and humour is highly infectious.  Anybody that was at Bilston Voices last Thursday must be in no doubt that the Black Country dialect is alive and kicking and it's in safe hands!"
Emma P (MC Bilston Voices)

Bilston Voices

"After the interval, Brendan Hawthorne, who really should be crowned Wednesbury Poet Laureate, had us laughing to his poems about a childhood tank top knitted by his mother, having a perm as a teenager and going to a party. "

 Eileen Ward-Birch

On Readings From The Dream Factory - 2018

So! To the work. i have no real reason why this happened but as i began reading through the pieces i began to think of Hejira ( An album by Joni Mitchel  in which she takes us an a journey  of words and music). Since that initial thought i have gone through a self examination as to why  that word would fix itself firmly  in the process i was moving through in order to come to terms with what i should write about 'Dreams'. Firstly it maybe the way the words are laid out on each card. Visuals  constantly affect me and back in the days of gate-fold album sleeves ( i know lp's are on the rise) i so much enjoyed opening them up and this collage of someones stories were laid out beautifully across the inside cover. The same thing happened when picking up each one of Bren's pieces. How beautifully they are laid upon the paper. Also changing the colour of each section brings  an individuality within the whole. If words are not considered as art in itself  then often a page can be as distracting, Here they are offered in such a way you are compelled to engage.

Probably out of all the three thousand or more lp's i had in my collection Mitchell's Hejira  fed me with more timeless lines and words than any other album.  'Dreams' contains a similar 'pull for me. Mitchell just had a way of moving you to a different place within the framework of every song and Bren takes us backwards and forwards, across countries , all within this dream-scape of words and images. He brackets every piece with a reference which opens 'A dream from'. This in itself allows you into his inner thoughts , time and place. You get the idea of the process of thought that a writer passes through. Am example 9216( A dream from a photo album in Wednesbury). As i read i was sat with the writer leafing through the album and being captured by the images he creates . It contains a killer line ' serpentine shadows softening harsh corners.' Read it to yourself and be carried on the perfect way the words fit together. There are so many  i could fill page after page but here are a few of my own favourites ,
From  'Butterfly Aesthete Suite', ' skies as blue as ghost-pale Canterbury bells. From 'Afternoon Light', ' Starlings to wing their way home in wisps of softly curling autumn'. Finally from 'Cold Light of Day'. ' sun-bleached cellophane shopfronts.' We've all been to the seaside and seen these yellowing , faded covers on the windows along the front. 

Bren allows you into his world while also allowing you. through this work to step into your own. Visiting such places as Wightwick Manor, viewing paintings at a gallery, travelling abroad and absorbing a very different culture. We are within a travelogue just as in the words of Mitchell .  There's a difference between reading a poem, hearing a song and being part of that poem or song. Bren has the rare ability to  wrap the words around you and leave you hanging on to lines such as those i've used above. It would have been easy for Bren to sit back comfortably  and bring out a volume in a conventional way. Bren , like me loves to take risks, take ownership and be responsible for what he offers his public. This volume is brave  on many levels . This volume  shouts to be heard and read. The scope of the work in many respects is immense but also very personal. Please read and read each piece and walk through the trails that Bren leaves. It's a journey that will not disappoint ...... Billy Spakemon

Dr B Dakin
Visiting Research Fellow
Aston University




Brendan! You are a star! One of the most original entertainers that I have ever known. Your time will surely come!

Bill Murray, Devon dialectist, storyteller and poet


A true comedian!



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