John Foggin

john foggin

John Foggin lives in Ossett, West Yorkshire. He helps to organise The Puzzle Hall Poets in Sowerby Bridge, and writes a weekly poetry blog: the great fogginzo’s cobweb (www.johnfoggin.wordpress.com).

His poems have won first prizes in The Plough Poetry [2013 & 14], Camden/Lumen [2014], McLellan [2015] and Ilkley LitFest [2015] competitions. One poem, Camera Obscura, was Highly Commended in the Forward Prize awards, and appears in The Forward Book of Poetry 2015.

His first two pamphlets, Running Out of Space and Backtracks, were published in early 2014, and a chapbook, Larach, was published by Ward Wood in December 2014. It was recently reviewed by the Poetry Book Society.

John Foggin

John Foggin

Outlaws and Fallen Angels

‘In Outlaws and Fallen Angels John Foggin turns his gaze towards the world of sculpture and painting. The poems are lively, sometimes challenging sometimes playful, but with a deep engagement in, and passion for, art that is always evident. This is poetry written with a keen and unflinching eye that takes us on a whistle-stop tour of history and mythology via explorations of the lives and loves of artists and their work.’ – Kim Moore

‘Foggin’s responses to the range of visual and plastic art that provides the jumping-off points for these poems go far beyond ekphrastic paraphrase. Intellectually, aesthetically and politically engaged – the range of reference includes Cartesian philosophy, the Taliban, John Keats and Tony Harrison – these vivid, crafted and humane poems are wise and witty, grounded in compassion.’ – Steve Ely

His Coy Mistress

‘Make me immortal with a kiss’

he’d murmur, and then he’d kiss me.

By turns laconic, edgy, lean, sardonic,

even sentimental at a push,

he’d use every trick in the book

to charm a girl already softened up

by poetry and songs.

I’d wish this kiss could last for ever.

Be careful what you wish for.

I hear his langorous sigh. His:

‘So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss’.

And then I discover that we can’t.

My face in his eye, his in mine appears.

And stays. Our lips are sore. Our teeth hurt.

It’s hard to breathe. My arm has gone to sleep.

‘O heaven is in these lips.

Here wilI I dwell.

Your kiss steals my soul’

That’s all very well.

A kiss should surely wake

the palace from its sleep,

set the spits a-turning,

break the spell.

I fear that we may never die at all.