April 27th, 2016: Brendan Constantine

Brendan!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. His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, FIELD, Rattle, ZYZZYVA, Ninth Letter, Hotel Amerika 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).

A popular performer, Brendan tours regularly, bringing his poetry and workshops to theaters, schools, libraries, correctional facilities, & community centers across the nation. “I know everybody doesn’t want to be a poet. But if poetry is a kind of ‘language within a language’ (Paul Valery), then I believe the skills of poetry–the use of simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, meter, citation, 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 to someone else. Indeed, metaphor is a gateway to compassion.”

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.

At present, Brendan is hard at work compiling his fourth collection, ‘Dementia, My Darling,’ due in the spring of 2016.