Brendan Hawthorne is a poet, playwright, writer and musician, based in the West Midlands. First published in 2004 by bluechrome he was described as being the ‘best Urban Poet of his time.’ He has since released four poetry collections and two plays via various publishers and has written seven titles of local interest for Bradwell Books. He has appeared on the One Show and a featured inset on Flog It! an interviewee for Adrian Chiles in a BBC documentary and West Midlands Ambassador for Smooth Radio for a two-year period. A viral hit in 2017 on BBC Radio WM, Brendan has gained over a half-a-million views to date. He has been awarded the Bill o’ Bowes Cup for best written dialect two years running (2018/19 and 2019/20) and performed from Anthony Gormley’s 4th Plinth. Brendan was made Poet Laureate of Wednesbury in 2014, he is one of the Black Country 100 Masters and has worked on numerous commissions, including NHS, English Heritage and National Trust. He also hosts a monthly spoken word and music evening on the last Tuesday of the month at 7.15 pm. Currently on Facebook at ‘Ere We Bin At Wum Again!
“I was given both the opportunity and challenge of writing a piece of poetic social commentary by Multistory during the period of lockdown and the early stages of some of those restrictions being lifted. The brief consisted of gaining public opinion based on a series of questions to find out how people have coped during lockdown and to describe how their attitudes, hopes and fears relate during this period of transition. As the information gathering began in lockdown I had to find ways of engaging people in socially distanced conversation or by filling out questionnaires and also stay within all guidelines of the time as they were changing so rapidly. After many phone calls, brief shouts over the road during the Thursday night clap for the NHS, snatched conversations as well personal observations whilst waiting in supermarket queues, I managed to gather enough sense of feeling from the streets of Wednesbury to put this poetic triptych together. In this interpretation I have kept the honesty of personal comments made and also built up a record of society in time and place during lockdown.
So here we are, let the voices speak!”
Listen to Brendan’s poems on the Stories in Isolation playlist on our Soundcloud account: