Brian Wake Born in Liverpool, Brian Wake has published eight books of poetry. His poetry has appeared in literary magazines and journals throughout the world and broadcast on radio and television.His latest book is THE ROSCOFF'S CIRCUS SEQUENCE (published by Driftwood Publications. 2020). info: Brian Wake founded Driftwood, a poetry promoting organisation, in 1971. He has introduced some of the most significant poets in the world to Merseyside audiences at poetry reading venues in Sefton and Liverpool. He has published numerous new and neglected poets in his Driftwood Poets series of books and pamphlets. He has organised and presented poetry events for Sefton’s Arts Services since 1988. He founded the Sefton Celebrates Writing Festival. He is now concentrating on his own writing and has now resurrected Driftwood Publications in Wallasey, Merseyside. In 2016 he produced a DVD featuring his poems, with music by Dennis Conroy and others, giving voices to the Antony Gormley sculpture installation at Crosby Beach near Liverpool. The DVD received much acclaim and has sold well at outlets throughout the North West. Between 2016 and 2019 he worked on a series of autobiographical poems, a life told through the several jobs held since the 1960s. The work has been written with love, care and humour and is a firm favourite with audiences at his regular poetry readings. More recently he produced a collection of poems, THE ROSCOFF'S CIRCUS SEQUENCE, hauntingly illustrated by Manchester artist Philip Wroe, and giving voices to a series of historic circus characters and animals. The work was produced in a fully illustrated pamphlet and published by Driftwood Publications earlier in 2020. The pictures and poems will be exhibited, as part of the 2020 Wirral Poetry Festival, in October and Brian Wake will be reading his work during the official launch. Current work is around the atmosphere of eerie, silent streets, the absence of people and the dread and fear of death from the Covid-19 Coronavirus in England in 2020.


I try, at every turn around the circus ring, to separate the fact of my experience, as captive here, from my interpretation of it all. I wonder sometimes if insanity is that we lob, as ordered, not toward the nearest water hole and, sheltered from the scorching sun, drink eagerly the sizzling cool, for miles and meaningless in circles every day. I have to say that in this dull routine, in unremitting round and round and round, my fear is I must believe before I doubt or die, or challenge doubt before I can deny my chance of breaking out, my chances of escape. I follow orders like a fool. Bow, scrape and stand, without complaint or any plan, one-legged on a circus stool, to rage or rise again, with vaulters and the boxing kangaroo, with jockey dogs and tumbling clowns, with launchers waiting on the teeterboards, and so burst out and thunder home to join the ambling herds and all things elephant on shimmering and dusty plains.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.


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Brian Wake

Tue 31st Jan 2012 09:48

It's good to be on board Ann. I look forward to being able to weave in and out of the various discussions.

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Ann Foxglove

Tue 31st Jan 2012 06:02

Hi Brian - welcome to WOL - great to have you on board!Hope you enjoy taking part in the site.

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Brian Wake

Sun 29th Jan 2012 13:23

Thanks, Julian, for your very kind comments. Much appreciated.

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Julian (Admin)

Sun 29th Jan 2012 11:44

Brian, really good to see you gracing our electronic pages here. You deserve much credit for all that you have done for poetry, especially on Merseyside/Sefton.

This poem is chilling and well-wrought. The way you use the quotidian to evoke the historical, using our concerns with our children's vulnerability to help us to try to understand that period of terror; superbly done. Part of my family background, too. Thank you.

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