Born on 7th February 1946, Brian Patten was brought up by his mother and maternal grandparents in Wavertree Vale, a working-class area of Liverpool. An important early influence was his neighbour, Frieda, whose book-filled house “became a sanctuary from the crowded and claustrophobic world in which I lived” (Patten, xviii).

Patten began writing poetry at 14. In an interview in 2001, he claimed that “I first realised I could write when I wrote a poem to get off the cross-country run at school” (Wade, 104). French poets such as Rimbaud and Apollinaire were influences: he was “attracted by the immediacy of the language of these poets, and what he saw as their direct relevance to ordinary …

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Taylor, Helen. "Patten, Brian". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 March 2014
[, accessed 08 October 2015.]