Brian Whittingham left school at 15 and entered into the world of John Brown’s shipyard as an apprentice boilermaker, experiencing the concrete, spiritual and linguistic elements of the Clydeside shipyard that were to become the major element of his first post-school experience of life. He moved on to work as an oil-rig inspector, got retrained as a draftsman, worked as a draftsman, taxi-driver, plater then draftsman again before becoming the writer-in-residence in the Lothian district.
Whilst working in industry, he began writing at the age of 36, initially self publishing a booklet of a dozen poems set in the industrial setting of the shipyard, titled Industrial Deafness, whilst attending the Paisley Writer’s Group in 1990.
Following on from this in 1992 and 1996 Taranis Press published a further two poetry collections, Ergonomic Workstations And Spinning Teacans & Swiss Watches And The Ballroom Dancer then during his Lothian residency, Mariscat Press published The Old Man From Brooklyn And The Charing Cross Carpet, a collection of poems set in Scotland and the USA.
After the Lothian residency he has worked freelance as a creative writing tutor, lecturer, facilitator with along with a post as a creative writing lecturer in Glasgow’s College of Nautical Studies.
In 2004 Luath Press published Drink The Green Fairy, a collection of poems emanating from a stage play he wrote titled Diamonds In Bedlam, about the French impressionist movement, that originated during a fellowship at Yaddo, an artist’s colony in New York.
In 2007 Luath then published Septimus Pitt and the Grumbleoids a collection of poems & illustrations (by Mandy Sinclair) aimed at a readership of upper primary and young adults. This came about after Whittingham had taken numerous workshops with children and young adults in schools, museums and galleries, revolving around such subjects as Outer Space, Endangered Species, Turner Paintings, etc. then laterally being engaged to run short story writing workshops with boys deemed to be reluctant readers in a Clydebank High school where he had to focus on the engagement of readers who were also to be creative writers. He has created a website http://www.brianwhittingham.co.uk to be used a teaching resource along with the book.
Whittingham is currently a co-editor of New Writing Scotland, having previously co-edited West Coast Magazine and Nerve Magazine, has read and taught in the UK, Europe and the USA, has written 3 stage plays and has had various short fiction published along the way.