John Hall: biographical note


©DominicSteinmann/CartelPhotos/Falmouth University

Poet, teacher, essayist ...

Born in1945 in the country now called Zambia, I moved to England in 1958, where I have lived ever since, mostly in Devon.

First poems to meet the attention of other writers appeared in The English Intelligencer in 1966. First collection, Between the Cities, was published by Grosseteste in 1968. A number of other collections appeared between then and 1981.

A period of 'not writing', discussed in a 1992 article, 'Writing and Not Writing', followed (now republished in Vol.2 of my Essays, this is included in Shearsman's PDF sampler). During this time, particularly from the mid 1990s, the 'writing' took the form of visual poems. The last section of Else Here: Selected Poems in 1999 marked a return to page-based poems as a parallel writing activity, sustained through later publications.

Most of my paid working life was spent at Dartington College of Arts, now merged into Falmouth University. In 2002 I took early retirement and switched to part-time until 2016, when I retired.

Since about 1996 I have given a number of talks and published nearly fifty essays, exploring literary aspects of poetics, reading, performance writing and the work of specific contemporary poets. There are also articles that may be of interest to those involved in designing teaching or research programmes in the practical arts, very much including writing. A two-volume collection of these essays was published by Shearsman Books in October 2013.