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

Walking with my Iguana

Brian Moses

The Sssnake Hotel

Brian Moses

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About Brian Moses

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

Interviews and other readings

Brian Moses Interview

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...

Additional material and useful links

Brian Moses - blog

Ideas for getting children writing on Brian Moses's blog.


Selected bibliography

Greetings Earthlings!: Space Poems (Macmillan, 2007)

Behind the Staffroom Door: The Very Best of Brian Moses...

Walking with my Iguana, Hachette 2009


There's a Hamster in the Fast Lane!, Pan Macmillan 2008


The Sun is a Cupcake, Hachette 2008


Budgie likes to Boogie, Caboodle Books 2009


Great Galactic Ghoul, Caboodle Books 2009


Greetings, Earthlings, Pan Macmillan 2009


Rhyming Dictionary (editor), Collins Educational 2000

Favourite Classic Poets (editor), Hodder Wayland 2003


Beware of the Dinner Lady (editor), Macmillan 2004


Spooky Schools (editor), Macmillan 2004


Blood and Roses: A History of Britain in Poetry (editor...


I Remember, I Remember - Poems of Childhood (editor),...


The Teachers' Revenge (editor), Macmillan 2003


The Works 2: Poems Across the Curriculum (Brian Moses...


Are We Nearly There Yet? (editor), Macmillan 2002


Elephants Can't Jump (editor), Belitha 2001


Minibeasts (editor), Macmillan 1999


Aliens Stole My Underpants (editor), Macmillan 1997


My First has gone Bonkers (editor), Puffin 1995 - out of...

Taking Out the Tigers, Macmillan 2005


The Secret Lives of Teachers, Macmillan 1996


Magic Feet, Collins 1999 - out of print

Croc City, Victoria Press 1993 - out of print

Jilly's Days, Longman 1994 - out of print

Knock Down Ginger and Other Poems, Cambridge University...

Hippopotamus Dancing and Other Poems, Cambridge...

An Odd Kettle of Fish (Brian Moses, Pie Corbett, John...

Don't Look At Me In That Tone Of Voice, Macmillan 1997...

Beetle in the Bathroom, Puffin 2001

Is There Anything There at the Top of the Stairs?: Poems...

I Wish I Could Dine With A Porcupine, Hodder Wayland 2000


Barking Back at Dogs, Macmillan 2000


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