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 poetrySigourney Weaver
The scene is tiny, you’re hugeChloe Poems
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.
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.
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.
Mark your arrival
Strolling on the common
punts stretch out like swans
rowing rivers of opportunity
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 Goodreads.com
Get your copy direct from the publishers.
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 superbDavid Hoyle
the book is great, cool titleJackie Hagan
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.
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.