Autobiopic – Ben Banyard


Opening credits, your first screams.
Exterior: the Midlands, mid-70s
orange and brown.
Filthy yellow buses pass the Rotunda;
happy-sad place.

Montage of the usual growing-up,
grandparents and cousins,
you decline invitations to classmates’ parties,
shrink in terror at the museum T-Rex.

At the posh school your Brummie
is scoffed at by the toffs.
You make the best of it for seven years
then sprint for the Devon coast
where your accent blows away
on the salt breeze of sea and estuary.

This is the low point of the narrative arc,
but it picks up when you meet the girl
who makes this a love story,
dusts you off, helps you grow up,
makes you a proud father,
writes you the happiest of endings.


Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, on the Severn Estuary near Bristol. He followed up his debut pamphlet, ‘Communing’ (Indigo Dreams, 2016), with a full collection, ‘We Are All Lucky’ (Indigo Dreams, 2018), and he’s currently putting the finishing touches to a new book. You can follow Ben’s blog at

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