About Brian

‘Brian Bilston is a laureate for our fractured times, a wordsmith who cares deeply about the impact his language makes as it dances before our eyes.’ Ian McMillan

imageFrequently described as the “Poet Laureate of Twitter”, Brian Bilston is a poet clouded in the pipe smoke of mystery. Very little is known about him other than the fragments of information revealed on social media: his penchant for tank tops, his enjoyment of Vimto, his dislike of Jeremy Clarkson.

In 2014 he became the first person to retain the title of Pipe Smoker of the Year [Poetry section] and, over the years, he has won numerous awards for cycling proficiency, first aid, and general tidiness. He won the 2015 Great British Write Off poetry prize for a poem disguised in a Venn diagram.

His first collection of poetry You Caught the Last Bus Home will be published later this year with Unbound. You can find a short film about it, how to support it, and get your name in the back of it, here:


Writing about his own verse, he says:

I write about Waitrose.
And the pitta of Waitrose.
The poetry is in the pitta.

From the Esquire online weekly magazine:


You can find Brian most days on Twitter (@brian_bilston) and also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BrianBilston/).




  1. Usually I would be annoyed at spilling beer but I’ll make an exception on this occasion. Having read your poems about Jeremy Clarkson, known simply as ‘that odious twat’ in our house, I sprayed quality beer all over the carpet. I only wish I could use them in my literacy lessons.
    Thanks for the laughs.

      1. Brian – Your poem Refugees was read (both ways) at my friend’s Seder tonight. I would like to share it with others without violating copyrights. I thought about sharing it on Facebook, but I also blog at Daily Kos, and could publish it there with your permission. Please let me know if I can. It’s very powerful.

      2. Dear Rachel, sorry about the delay in replying. Thanks for your kind comments. I’d be very happy for you publish this via Daily Kos. with best wishes, Brian

  2. Hi Brian,
    Thanks for visiting and following my Fictionary. I hope you enjoy my Accidental Words. I look forward to more of your poetry. Anyone who speaks so highly of JC deserves a wider readership. Yes, even viewed upside down from Down Under he is still a twat.

  3. I am the poet RANTIN RICHIE and I came across your manifesto in a bookshop in York last week. It has pride of place above my mirror in the front room, like the radio mast on top of a very high building.
    Count me in as a member of the Terza Rima

  4. What a find! Your poetry is so clever, I love poetry that makes me smile or better still laugh. My 6 year old is being taught about poetry and rhymes in his class at school, I sent him in with a book by Shel Silverstein but I would love to find one of your poems to read to him. Any suggestions?

    1. Thanks very much, Claire. That’s very kind. Shel Silverstein is so fabulous! I thought about your question but I’ve drawn a blank, I’m afraid. Probably the most “6 year old friendly” is the one called Word Needles but it’s a bit unseasonal!

  5. I am somewhat annoyed that it has taken me too long to discover your excellent wordsmithery.
    Do you ever perform in front of a live audience? I’d like to see that.

  6. I love reading your poems and stories. I often re-read The Life of Trevor Bilston, a magnificent (if tragic) story that has the added personal bonus that I live in Leighton Buzzard.

  7. I know this is going to sound weird. I live in Canada and have a poetry board outside my house in Kingston, Ontario. I would like to use your nifty poem, Word Needles, this week. Is that okay? I would also like to put it up on FaceBook. Just for the halibut.

  8. Have just discovered you 🙂
    My husband’s always reading me extracts of poems he likes whilst I (inwardly) yawn and respond ‘Yes dear’. I’ve just READ HIM a dozen of yours and loved every one. Maybe I have discovered a new ‘common interest’ that is Brian Bilston! Thank you.

  9. Hi Brian
    I am working with a group of young people and a few adults to create a play about two girls, one of whom is a refugee. We want to get the young people and our audience to think about the subject and see the people. We’re hoping to raise money as well as awareness for a local refugee family. Your poem would make the perfect prologue and epilogue to our play (credited on the script and the programme). Would you be willing for us to use it? We’ve used it in the devising process and the young people were really inspired by it so thank you!

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