John Foggin

Bio: John lives in Ossett, West Yorkshire. He has been a teacher, lecturer and LEA Adviser for Drama and English. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Leeds, but learned much more from The Poetry Business and all the poets he has met there.

His poems have appeared in ‘The North’, ‘The New Writer’,and ‘The Interpreter’s House’, among others. He was First Prize winner in the Lumen/Camden Poetry Competition (2014) and of The Plough Prize (2013 and 2014). These were followed by others, including The McLellan (2015) and the Poetry Business International Pamphlet Prize (2016). His poems have been picked as prize winners by four poets laureate: Andrew Motion (twice), Liz Lochhead , Billy Collins and Simon Armitage.

Published work

His first collection of poems , a pamphlet: ‘Running out of Space‘ was published in April 2014. A second one, ‘Backtracks‘ in July 2014, and his chapbook, ‘Larach‘ was published by WardWood in November 2014.

A pamphlet, ‘Outlaws and fallen angels’ was published by Calder Valley Poets in 2016.

His first full collection ‘Much Possessed’ was published by smith|doorstop in 2016.

As a result of winning the Sentinel Competition, a second collection,‘Gap Year’, jointly authored with Andy Blackford was published by SPM Publications in 2017.

He was a winner of the 2017 Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Competition, which resulted in a new pamphlet : Advice to a traveller (Indigo Dreams. 2018

In 2019, his pamphlet “Dark Watchers” was published by Calder Valley Poetry who also published in 2020 the ‘anthology for lockdown’ When all this is over’….a project organised by John and resulting in a collection chosen by Kim Moore from scores of entries.

March 2022 sees the publication  by CVP of his second full collection Pressed for time .

“John Foggin has done it again with another collection that is compelling in its clarity, bursting with its ideas and dazzling in its range. Each poem feels like a moment of invitation to the reader – to step inside a painting or be part of a perfectly lit and precisely described scene. Foggin asks us throughout to consider the nature of perception and to open ourselves to multiple ways of looking – and then shows us how to do this, again and again and again.”  Kim Moore

He has ten grandchildren, all of whom are amazingly talented; he has supported Batley Bulldogs RL team for over 70 years, and would live on the Isle of Skye if they had a rugby league team.

22 thoughts on “About

  1. dear me x.the last time we were together we were drunk in your house.i stayed the night and you and i stayed up all night singing with paul simon and lady black mombasa.christ we had a great friendship john all the way back to carlton and the wonderful peter and mary nightingale.and now you turn up-and someone said you are a poet.and i argued and argued with them,threatened them and it turns out you are.!so lovely to see your mug on the web-and you are wearing the same frigging waist coat you woreat wooley hall.damn you man,the glasses look good.time is like an ossett greyhound.love to you john and bestttttteessst wishes,terry xx


  2. Hello Mr.Foggin,

    You never taught me but you were my form tutor at Boston Spa (during the reign of the Glorious Leader J R Hanson)!
    I always appreciated your genuine care and concern for us. It was a privilege to have been a member of 4 and 5FG.

    Kind thoughts to you

    David Shinn (Shinny)


  3. Hello – I’m so glad to have found this as I also remember you from my school days at Boston Spa and especially The Lark – it must be serendipity as I was thinking of trying to spend some time writing myself and now feel more inspired – Rowena


    1. Rowena! How splendid. One of the things about the cobweb and about Facebook is the many virtual reunions. I’m glad you found yourself enmeshed, and I’m delighted you’ll be writing. Send me your stuff when you feel like it. And tell me what you’ve been up to. Use my email… john.foggin@wishville.co.uk. Look forward to hearing all about it x Fogs


  4. Hi John, I’m writing to ask if you would be interested in writing me a guest blog post to go up in October? Subject: poetry/writing etc -length up to 1k if poss, but shorter is fine. Can you DM me on twitter or use my email on the blog to reply? Thanks and good wishes, Anthony


  5. Hello Mr Foggin.

    I have been considering this message to you for several weeks and now it is time to get on with it.

    There’s a chance you might remember teaching me English at Boston Spa Comprehensive School in the early 1980s. Stephen Allinson. I was the small blonde one, probably quite withdrawn, nervous, wanting to be at home with Mum, but always listening. I was listening gratefully to your readings, Roald Dahl…there must have been so many other things, but I forget now.

    Firstly, I remmber you and what you did for me, you delighted me with your enthusiasm for the written and spoken word. I think that as well as helping to build upon my interest in reading, you taught me the value of the spoken word, the feel of an author’s work on the ear, as well as the eye.

    You wrote in my end of year (/term) report that I could read every Doctor Who book extant and that it would do me no good. Well, you were, of course, right – although in being able to communicate now with my ten year old son, it has been helpful, so maybe you were not quite 100% there!

    When two friends of mine, for a reason I still do not see, turned against me and put me through a process of verbal torture, you saw this when most teachers chose not to, you gave them a good talking to, and made me feel a lot better about myself as a consequence.

    You have fluttered in and out of my mind in the decades since and always given me good feelings when you appeared. I still love to read and I still love to write, although everyday life and work get in the way, but I do find time and space to read and even write little things (short stories, poems for my son to enjoy, “songs”…).

    Well, that sums up my immediate thoughts, I am so happy to have found that you’re still at it and I will follow your online writings and seek out some of your books of poetry.

    Thank you for what you did for me, my very best regards, Steve.


    1. I’m always amazed and happy when people I taught suddenly get in touch. Like the Paul Simon song. Still crazy after all these years. I’m trying to picture you now…..I remember visually, and forget or confuse names. Not ageing….I’ve always been like that. Give me a context and I’ll home in. Year. Tutor group. Others in you group..friends. And the POW, a face comes into focus or a moment, a memory. It’s always unnerving for a teacher to be reminded of things he might have said or written without thing hard enough. That Dr Who thing bothers me…my mantra was basically that you need to read huge amounts of rubbish to become a reader. Famous Five, Dr Who, Fighting Fantasy, Bunty, Jackie..all that. I guess what I would have wanted to say is that you should read Dr Who till you get sick of it and want a challenge. Certainly sounds as if Dr Who did you no harm at all. I envy your writing stuff for your ten year old. Wow! The ultimate challenge , writing for children. Beyond me. Mind you, there is so much great stuff out there, it’s not a problem. I’ve got 10 grandchildren….ages range from 23-8. Two middle ones listened to and read everything I could throw their way. Very fond of Susan Cooper and Ursula le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea. Any poems at all by Allan Ahlberg at the age your lad is now. Lucky lad, I say.
      Listen, drop me a line…remind me a bit more about the year and the TG and the friends, and I’ll remember better, and feel less guilty about not immediately picturing you xxx fogs


  6. Dear John
    Happy new year!
    Would you like review copies of The Afterlife and Deck Shoes?
    Do drop me a line -my email is on the contact pages of my blog.
    With very best wishes as ever


  7. Hi John,
    Sorry you had to leave early, and now I’ve looked I don’t seem to have your email. Just wanted to send good wishes to you and Flo. At least you bagged a great poem before you left.
    With much admiration,
    Julie X


    1. Hey…thank you, Julie. Flo’s OK now. Attack of vertigo, which takes a couple of days to go away. I really missed the afternoon. Here’s the poem I wanted workshop. Xxxx Foggs

      From: “The Great Fogginzo's Cobweb”
      Reply to: “comment+cj3m5l4s3s7e6e4p87apjsln@comment.wordpress.com”
      Date: Sunday, 23 February 2020 at 11:41
      To: John Foggin
      Subject: [The Great Fogginzo’s Cobweb] Comment: “About”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.