and in the shop…
“Learning to Breathe”
“Fosdyke and Me and Other Poems”
Stairwell Books and Fighting Cock Press
John Gilham was brought up in Hounslow, West London. He began writing poetry in his teens, achieving a few magazine publications and doing some outdoor readings at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. After studying English and American Literature at Edinburgh University he returned to Hounslow where he worked in industry for four years before abandoning that to take a further degree in Medieval Studies (Anglo-Saxon) at the University of York.
John still lives in York and is now retired. He has been published in numerous magazines including Acumen, Dreamcatcher, Aireings, Pennine Platform, Other Poetry, The North and The Rialto.He was Editor of Dream Catcher magazine from 2014 to 2019.
Fosdyke and Me and Other Poems was published in 2010 by Stairwell Books and Fighting Cock Press. The Fosdyke poems recount the travails of two young men growing up in the not-so-swinging ’60s, companions in misfortune, fellow sufferers in the toils of love, their lives set on a hilarious and seemingly irreversible downward course, joint losers in the lottery of achievement and fame.
After Fosdyke, John’s poems tend to the domestic, to a celebration of the history and landscape of England, to thoughts on Europe as it changes from a continent perpetually at war with itself to an economic union. There is also rage against the folly and destruction of war, from the flayed landscape of Flanders, where his grandfather served in the First World War, to the illegal invasion of Iraq.
Learning to Breathe was published in 2015 by Stairwell Books and develops John’s acute sense of the interpenetration of history, religion, geography, the stories that landscapes tell, and the contemporary world.