About Michael Brown

Michael Brown was born in Manchester in 1983. He completed Mercurial at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London in 2016. Michael lives in Cambridge with his husband John, where he is currently working in a number of creative industries and is also a researcher at Cambridge University. This is Michael’s second poetry collection. He published The Exhibit in 2014.

Michael recently attended Creative Writing in Cambridge, at Pembroke College, in collaboration with the National Academy of Writing. You can watch a video of Michael and find out more at Pembroke's Creative Writing at Cambridge Page.

My new favourite pastime is listening to Michael Brown read his poetry

Sigourney Weaver

The scene is tiny, you’re huge

Chloe Poems
Mercurial coming soon


SilverWood Books October 2016

Mercurial is to be characterised by rapid and unpredictable changing moods. The Mercurial have qualities of eloquence and ingenuity. Mercurial people are animated, lively and quick witted. Subject to sudden changes of mind the Mercurial are unpredictable, variable and unstable. To be Mercurial is to be ever changing, creative and whimsical.

These poems celebrate Mercuralia, the major festival of the Roman God Mercury the patron God of eloquence (and thus poetry), communication and keeper of boundaries referring to his role as bridge between the upper and lower worlds, also the guide of souls to the Underworld.

In his third collection of poetry Michael Brown looks behind closed doors to reveal harsh truths, marvels at the savage beauty of the world and has disinhibited poetic conversations with Francis Bacon, Janet Frame, famous rent boys, psychiatric patients and dead poets.

Selected Poems

Holland Park, Kensington
Sitting as summer sun finally rises to gently kiss our faces.
Opposite me on a bench, in shade, an elderly lady studies her smart phone through a large magnifying glass.
"Summer has started" I say.
"I'm busy on my phone" she replies.

Boxing with Bacon
Boxing with Bacon
He leads me up a staircase to a box room.
We watch the boxing match on TV.
The figure in the corner is boxing towards us, clenched
fists, full of rage.
Francis is painting him on canvas.
He has been painting on magazine cuttings all day it seems.
He asks me to read him William Blake and those Elliot
poems before the wasteland.
Conveniently on the last page of the book he has
written in pencil which poems he found moving.
My head is looking left, I wonder if he views me in
triptych, distorted face.
As the boxer crashes into the barrier I feel paint like
blood flicked onto my hands.
Enough to make a guy sweat.

Michael Brownie at London Book Screen Week Michael Brownie reading at Love's Labour Lost

Purchase Mercurial

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The Exhibit

The Exhibit

SilverWood Books August 2014

The Exhibit puts human emotions on display. It is a book between two cities – Cambridge and Manchester – with detours via wax museums and planetariums. It brings down the Berlin Wall and challenges censorship in Iran; reveals the love of gay marriage and has conversations with Alexander McQueen, Damien Hirst and Sylvia Plath.

This is an impressive collection by a young poet already known for his innovative, intense poetry that draws its energy from the light and dark of everyday life. Michael Brown’s poems seek to put our most intense feelings on display, sharing our common experiences and observing humanity standing on the outside looking in.

Selected Poems

Cambridge pace
Mark your arrival
bicycle bell
student crime
library fine

Strolling on the common
punts stretch out like swans
rowing rivers of opportunity
education celebration

Grade 1 listed buildings
sky high college ceiling
of philosophy thinking
Bridge of sighs, never lies

Bright spot of the Hibiscus flower
Sinabung coughs sulphur
asthma lungs empty charcoal pits
cracked coal clumps choke

this sudden red hand
a delicate flower clings to colour
in a grey covered world
your petals bleed aniseed
like a bloody hand
in a dirty puddle
tracing paper flower
crumbles in my hand
leaving bloody fingerprints
a bright red crimson kiss
floats above a sea of lava
could fall into volcano mouth
like a final heartbeat
in a decaying grey body
a bright spot Hibiscus flower


Michael Brown’s poetry is as full of queer spark and passion as he is... his words are heartfelt and full of raw honesty.

Dominic Berry, Performance Poet

Michael's poems are short, powerful chunks of emotion. Some of them are hilarious, some of them are poignant and a lot of them are dark. The first half of the book especially is very dark (but interspersed with moments of light) and the poems get more hopeful and joyous towards the end.

R. Daley, reader on GoodreadsGoodreads.com
The Exhibit

Get your copy direct from the publishers.

The Exhibit is also available from the following retailers:

Audio Book

Cutting Butterflies with scissors Cover

Cutting Butterflies with scissors

Wilkinson House London 2012

Cutting butterflies with scissors was Michael's first published book with support from Wilkinson House, London. Wilkinson House are a specialist publisher who promote LGBT writers. The book was launched at Manchester Pride August 2012 and was printed as a limited batch and is currently no longer in print.


divine poetry, “leaves behind” is superb

David Hoyle

the book is great, cool title

Jackie Hagan
Allergic Cover


Self published 2010

Allergic was the first collection of poetry from Poet Brownie. This was a self published pamphlet which was distributed at events and festivals where he performed. Original artwork by Tommy Kovac (Slave Labour graphics) was used for the cover.

Get In Touch.


To book Poet Brownie for performances, to host your event, to run a creative writing workshop, book signing, to read from The Exhibit (including book signing and Q&A), education events, festivals, to write a bespoke poem and other creative services.

Contact Details

Michael Brown

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