Biography of Brendan Constantine
Brendan Constantine was born in Los Angeles, the second child of two working actors, and named after Irish playwright Brendan Behan. An ardent supporter of Southern California’s poetry communities and one of its most recognized poets, he has served as a teacher of poetry in local schools and colleges for the last eighteen years. In addition, he brings poetry workshops to hospitals, foster care centers, & shelters for the homeless. He is also very proud of his work with the Alzheimer's Poetry Project.
His first collection, Letters To Guns, was released in February 2009 from Red Hen Press to wide acclaim. It is now taught extensively in schools throughout the Southland. His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Ploughshares, FIELD, Rattle, ZYZZYVA, Ninth Letter, The Pinch, ArtLife and LA Times Bestseller The Underground Guide to Los Angeles. His most recent collections are Birthday Girl With Possum (2011 Write Bloody Publishing) and Calamity Joe (2012 red Hen Press).
In spring of 2012, Brendan toured California on a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, bringing his poetry workshops to schools, libraries, correctional facilities, & community centers. “I know every student doesn’t want to be a professional poet. But if poetry is a kind of ‘language within a language’ (Paul Valery), then I believe the skills of poetry--the arts of simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, meter, etc. – are useful and practical, a means of doubling our available vocabulary. Anyone with even a little poetry in them is better equipped to relate their world to someone else.”
In addition to his post as poet in residence at the Windward School, Brendan regularly volunteers with organizations like the Art of Elysium. He is also currently working with the Craft & Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles on a project that invites established and emerging authors to bear upon changing exhibits.
He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Hollywood at Bela Lugosi’s last address.
Brendan Constantine Poems
It's really cold in here now, easily forty below something, and half the class is asleep.
A Little Black
The children of Juarez have run out of red crayons. There's so much blood
My love, you have the right to remain .......silent. Anything you say can and will be recorded
The Need To Leave
a dog is barking a woman is sleeping a man is old
Last Night To The Map Of The World And I...
America says it has misplaced your number. I wasn't comfortable giving it out. I said I'd let you know.
I learned the word disaster meant against the stars, learned it did not apply to this world; the sky intended every cruelty.
Difficult Listening Time
A flock of pink flamingos moved in across the street, and set up plastic people on the lawn.
Before The Flood
My father remembers nothing. Or rather he remembers where it used to be - See that building? When I was a kid there was nothing there. And next door, where the school is, nothing.
A Little Black
The children of Juarez have run out
of red crayons. There's so much blood
in their eyes; the bodies of mules
dumped in their schools, hands & heads
by the road, blood in pools, blood
in stories of blood. Before I know it,