© Image by Caroline Forbes

Brian Moses

(b. 1950)

"An idea is like a knock on the door. Ignore the knocking and whoever it is goes away." - Brian Moses

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These poems come from a special recording for the Poetry Archive:

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  • Interview with Brian Moses
    Brian Moses set out to be a rock star. . .and became a poet instead! In this interview he tells us about his journey as a writer, where he finds inspiration, as well as revealing The Secret Lives of Teachers.
    View all interviews
  • Brian Moses - blog
    Ideas for getting children writing on Brian Moses's blog.

Select bibliography

  • Croc City, Victoria Press 1993 - out of print
  • Hippopotamus Dancing and Other Poems, Cambridge University Press, 1994 - out of print
  • Knock Down Ginger and Other Poems, Cambridge University Press 1994 - out of print
  • Jilly's Days, Longman 1994 - out of print
  • My First has gone Bonkers (editor), Puffin 1995 - out of print
  • An Odd Kettle of Fish (Brian Moses, Pie Corbett, John Rice), Macmillan 1995 - out of print
  • The Secret Lives of Teachers, Macmillan 1996
  • Don't Look At Me In That Tone Of Voice, Macmillan 1997 - out of print
  • Aliens Stole My Underpants (editor), Macmillan 1997
  • Magic Feet, Collins 1999 - out of print
  • Minibeasts (editor), Macmillan 1999
  • Barking Back at Dogs, Macmillan 2000
  • I Wish I Could Dine With A Porcupine, Hodder Wayland 2000
  • Is There Anything There at the Top of the Stairs?: Poems about Being Scared, Hodder Wayland 2000 - out of print
  • Rhyming Dictionary (editor), Collins Educational 2000
  • Beetle in the Bathroom, Puffin 2001
  • Elephants Can't Jump (editor), Belitha 2001
  • Are We Nearly There Yet? (editor), Macmillan 2002
  • The Works 2: Poems Across the Curriculum (Brian Moses & Pie Corbett), Macmillan 2002
  • The Teachers' Revenge (editor), Macmillan 2003
  • Favourite Classic Poets (editor), Hodder Wayland 2003
  • Are We Nearly There Yet?, Macmillan Audio 2004
  • Poems Out Loud - A Poetry CD And Book (editor), Hodder Wayland 2004
  • I Remember, I Remember - Poems of Childhood (editor), Macmillan 2004
  • Blood and Roses: A History of Britain in Poetry (editor), Hodder Wayland 2004
  • Spooky Schools (editor), Macmillan 2004
  • Beware of the Dinner Lady (editor), Macmillan 2004
  • Taking Out the Tigers, Macmillan 2005
  • Brian Moses Reading from his Poems, The Poetry Archive 2005
  • Budgie likes to Boogie, Caboodle Books 2009
  • The Sun is a Cupcake, Hachette 2008
  • There's a Hamster in the Fast Lane!, Pan Macmillan 2008
  • Walking with my Iguana, Hachette 2009
  • Greetings, Earthlings, Pan Macmillan 2009
  • Great Galactic Ghoul, Caboodle Books 2009
  • Behind the Staffroom Door: The Very Best of Brian Moses, Macmillan, 2007
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 Moses, 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 Moses' 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.

Brian Moses's Favourite Poetry Sayings:

"If you want to be a writer, write." - Brian Moses

"Just look at it, touch it, smell it, listen to it, turn yourself into it. When you do this, the words look after themselves, like magic." - Ted Hughes, from Poetry in the Making

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