Books by Brian Bilston

Diary of a Somebody (Picador, 2019)

It’s January 1st and Brian Bilston’s life needs to change. His ex-wife has taken up with a new man, a motivational speaker and marketing guru to boot; he seems to constantly disappoint his long-suffering son; and at work he is drowning in a sea of spreadsheets and management jargon.

Brian’s resolution is to write a poem every day; poetry will be his salvation. But there is an obstacle to his happiness in the form of Toby Salt, his arch nemesis in the Poetry Group and rival suitor to Liz, Brian’s new poetic inspiration. When Toby goes missing, Brian is the number one suspect.

Part tender love story, part murder mystery, part coruscating description of a wasted life, and interspersed with some of the funniest poems about the mundane and the profound, Diary of a Somebody is a unique, original and hilarious novel.

‘Glorious. I will be astonished if I read a more original, more inventive or funnier novel this year’ Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt

‘Nobody must find out about this unique gem, because I’m giving it to EVERYONE, and I want to appear clever and discerning’ Dawn French, author of A Tiny Bit Marvellous

  • Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel award 2019

You Took the Last Bus Home: The Poems of Brian Bilston (Unbound, 2017)

You Took the Last Bus Home is the first and long-awaited collection of ingeniously hilarious and surprisingly touching poems from Brian Bilston, the mysterious ‘Poet Laureate of Twitter’.

With endless wit, imaginative wordplay and underlying heartache, he offers profound insights into modern life, exploring themes as diverse as love, death, the inestimable value of a mobile phone charger, the unbearable torment of forgetting to put the rubbish out, and the improbable nuances of the English language.

Constantly experimenting with literary form, Bilston’s words have been known to float off the page, take the shape of the subjects they explore, and reflect our contemporary world in the form of Excel spreadsheets, Venn diagrams and Scrabble tiles.

This irresistibly charming collection of his best-loved poems will make you question the very essence of the human condition in the twenty-first century.

Refugee (Palazzo Editions, Oct 2019)

Refugees is a book of two voices. The first one sees the people fleeing from war and persecution and asks, Why here? Why my country? It is a feeling many people share. It is one of fear and suspicion. But when you read the text the opposite way, a new voice emerges. It says, Why not make them welcome? Why not share the things we have?

The world is undergoing a period of mass human migration. Whether this is caused by war, persecution or economics, the people we see on the news in those camps are waiting waiting to live their lives. There are two sides to every debate. There are two sides to a wall.

This story shows both sides of the issue with skill and the illustrations depict the issue in a magic realism style, powerful but never frightening, and will promote a deeper discussion on this topic with an older child.

Alexa, what is there to know about love? (Picador, 2021)

Brian Bilston is a laureate for our fractured times.’ Ian McMillan

‘Someone who knows their way round both a joke and a bittersweet narrative.’ The Times

‘Part John Cooper Clarke, part Frank Sidebottom . . . all brilliant.’ Esquire

‘Bilston is a magician with words’ Guardian

Alexa, what is there to know about love? is a wonderful collection of poems about love in all its forms, covering everything from romantic love to familial love, to long-distance love, and even love on the internet.
The collection also features poems about the true passions for many booklovers, reading and literature, and the odd one about the subject causing many of us heartbreak: politics. With titles like ‘Hold My Hand While We Jump Off This Cliff’ and ‘Remembrance of Things Pasta’, there’s something for even the most jaded romantic within these pages.
The perfect, witty gift for Valentine’s and beyond.

50 Ways to Score a Goal and Other Football Poems (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2021)

A funny collection of football poems by Brian Bilston, the unofficial Poet Laureate of Twitter. Perfect for football fans of all ages – from the young footie fanatic to a been-to-every-game-grandma, and every ‘I could’ve been a pro’ in between.

Full of poems that will make you giggle about all things football, including being left out of the World Cup squad, mum’s opinion on Messi vs Ronaldo, or those unmissable fixtures:

I’d love nothing more than to go outside
and spend time with Mother Nature.
But what can I do? It’s out of my hands:
Nigeria are playing Croatia

50 Ways to Score a Goal and Other Football Poems includes witty chants, a haiku or two, and fun shape poems about the beautiful game. Laugh together through the Euros or Premier League games, and swap the half-time pundits for puns!

‘Bilston is a magician with words’ – Guardian

‘Someone who knows their way round both a joke and a bittersweet narrative.’ – The Times