John Gilham

John Gilhame:

Available to come to book groups? Yes
Available to give talks? Yes
Available for school visits? Yes
About Me
After a childhood spent in West London, underneath the flight-path to Heathrow, missing 1/3rd of my education in the process, as teachers’ wise words were drowned out every time a plane went over, I arrived in York via Edinburgh in 1974.  My wife and I met at the University where we were both on the post-grad medieval studies course, and then, like many others, couldn’t think of anywhere we would rather live when we finished our studies.

Nearly 40 years on and 3 children and 3 grandchildren added to the family, I have now retired after working for a local housing association. This has freed me for other things, including becoming a member of the editorial board of Dream Catcher Poetry Magazine.

I have been writing poetry on and off since my teens, but more intensively over the past 20 years or so. I have had numerous poems published in a variety of magazines including Acumen, Aesthetica, Orbis, Pennine Platform, The North, The Rialto, and the Interpreter’s House.  I also have poems in the Stairwell Books anthologies The Exhibitionists, The Green Man Awakes, Along the Iron Veins, York 800 and Pressed by Unseen Feet .  My first collection Fosdyke and Me and Other Poems was published by Fighting Cock Press/Stairwell Books in 2010.  I am a regular performer at the Spoken Word open mic at the Exhibition pub on Bootham, first Tuesday of every month from 7.30.

Apart from the Fosdyke performance pieces, which chart the progress of a pair of ever-hopeful losers from adolescence to the care home, I like to say that my main themes are Love, Death, Rage.  To these might be added meditations on the fractured history of Europe in the 20th century, permanence and change in the countryside and wide skies of Yorkshire, the joys and sorrows of life in York with children, and skeletons under the garden.

Beyond poetry, I am a born-again ferroequinologist, and my enthusiasms include London, landscape, pubs, jazz, cycling, eggs, my children and grandchildren, and foreign travel.   A perfect day would include as many of the above as possible.

My Book
Fosdyke_Front_CoverFosdyke and Me and Other Poems
Fighting Cock Press/Stairwell Books.  2010. Paperback.
Genre: Poetry.
Set in York? Partially.
Description: The complete Fosdyke and Me series, charting the lives of two ever-hopeful born losers with 1950s attitudes.  Plus a selection of poems reflecting on our 20th century heritage at the beginning of the 21st.
Reviews: ‘a picaresque lurch from Boy’s Brigade to bedsit, Cawood to Carnaby Street’ Julia Deakin
‘A wonderful celebration of escaping the office to sow wild flowers of discontent’  Helen Cadbury
‘a moving and compelling piece of work which repays reading again and again.’ Andy Humphrey
Find out more and buy from: Publisher’s website

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