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Full track listing for the special recording made for the Poetry Archive

This poem is part of the tour of the Children's Archive by:

About the poet

Brian Moses (b. 1950) is one of Britain's favourite children's poets, for both his own poetry and the anthologies he has edited, and he has performed in over two thousand schools across the UK and Europe. He is a Reading Champion for the Literacy Trust, and is able to animate reading and writing poetry for pupils and teachers alike, in his workshops and in his resource books for teachers.

His interests range from the familiar - shopping trolleys, football matches - to the peculiar - monsters, aliens, angels. Often he will mix the two together, 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'. He has a particularly sharp eye for those parts of life that sound like surrealism but are taken from life - the man in 'Walking with my Iguana', who walks his pet lizard on Hastings beach on a leash, is based on a real person.

He says that he began writing poems when he realised 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 on this recording; while he rarely sings, 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 'The Ssssnake Hotel' or the Tom Waits growl in 'Walking with my Iguana'. David Roberts' music accompanies several of the poems, in styles from a rap backbeat to a folky guitar; others are unaccompanied, but Brian's reading style still stays musical, and an essential part of the poem. His poetry is at its best in performance, and this recording catches him at his most essential.

Original music & arrangements: David Roberts

His recording was made on 16 May 2003 at The Audio Workshop, London and was produced by Anne Rosenfeld.

The Sssnake Hotel

Brian Moses

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