Brian Thomas Brett, poet, novelist, publisher, critic, teacher (b at Vancouver 28 April 1950). Raised and educated in Vancouver, Brian Brett studied English literature at Simon Fraser University. In 1970, with fellow student Alan Safarik, Brett founded Blackfish Press, which published the periodical Blackfish, broadside folios and literary books, including works by F. R. Scott, Earle Birney, and Dorothy Livesay. Brett established the BC Poetry-in-the-Schools program and has served as the chair of the Writers Union of Canada. His criticism has been published in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and Books in Canada.
Although Brett writes in a variety of genres, he is best known as a poet. His first collection, Fossil Ground at Phantom Creek (1976), was published by Blackfish Press. He has since written several more volumes of poetry, including Monsters (1981), Smoke Without Exit (1984), and Evolution in Every Direction (1987). His Poems: New and Selected was nominated for the 1993 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. His long poem Allegories of Love and Disaster was published in 1993, followed by The Colour of Bones in a Stream (1998).
Uproar's Your Only Music (2004) is a collection of poems coupled with a prose memoir in which Brett reveals that he was born an androgyne. Several of Brett's poems were adapted and issued as Night Directions for the Lost: The Talking Songs of Brian Brett, a compact disc he recorded as a member of the Saltspring Collective.
Brett has published three works of fiction. The Fungus Garden (1988), a political allegory in the form of a science fiction novel, explores the place of the artist in society. It was followed by Tanganyika (1991), a collection of thirteen short stories. Brett's most accomplished and complex work, Coyote (2003), is a meta-fiction in which the author blends genres - mystery, thriller, horror, comedy - in a story involving a serial killer, an eco-terrorist, and the RCMP.