Biography

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 twenty years.

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. This was soon followed by ‘Birthday Girl With Possum’ (2011 Write Bloody Publishing) which established Mr. Constantine as a poet equally at home on the page and the stage.  His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, FIELD, Rattle, Ninth Letter, Hotel Amerika and LA Times Bestseller ‘The Underground Guide to Los Angeles.’ His most recent collection is ‘Dementia, My Darling’ (2016).

Mr. Constantine has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A popular performer, Brendan has presented his work to audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe, also appearing on NPR’s All Things Considered, KPFK’s Poetry Cafe, numerous podcasts, and YouTube. He currently teaches creative writing at the Windward School.

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. Since the summer of 2017 he has been working with a speech pathologist to develop poetry workshops for victims of Aphasia.

“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 its skills are a means of doubling one’s available vocabulary. Anyone with even a little poetry in them may be better able to relate to someone else. Indeed, metaphor is a gateway to compassion.”