Born in Stockport and now living in Congleton, Cheshire, John Lindley’s poetry has appeared widely in magazines as well as being broadcast on radio.
He has run creative and critical workshops on poetry for all ages and abilities, including writers’ groups, Travellers, U3A groups, at writing festivals and in universities, schools, prisons, youth clubs and day care centres. He also runs workshops for those with learning difficulties and in the mental health sector.
An experienced performer, John has read at pubs, clubs, theatres and at the Buxton and Edinburgh fringe festivals. His self-written show, Screen Fever, which married poems written on the theme of cinema to film music and dialogue, was first staged at Congleton Library. The show has since been performed for arts groups across the country, at the Jon Silkin Memorial Festival in Camelford, Cornwall and at Ledbury Poetry Festival. In 2007/8 he toured with four other poets in the hugely successful Bunch of Fives show. The follow-up show, Fourpenny Circus, began touring in May 2009.
John has won the Words of Silk Open Poetry Competition, been a runner up in the Jackson’s Arm Poetry Pamphlet Competition, a three times prize-winner in the Lancaster Literature Festival and a prize-winner in the Manchester Open Poetry and the Blythe Spirit Open Poetry competitions. In 2010 he won 1st prize in the International Religious Poetry Competition and was named Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year.
Two early booklets of his poems were followed by his first full-length collection, Stills from November Campaigns, which was published by Tarantula in 1998. This was followed by Scarecrow Crimes (New Hope International, 2002), Cheshire Rising (Cheshire County Council, 2005) and House of Wonders (Riverdane, 2008). A new collection, The Casting Boat, was published by Headland in July 2009.
John was appointed as the literary ‘Arts Form Specialist’ by Congleton Borough Council to work on their 18 month Imprints Community Arts Project. Further commissions have included workshops for Radio Stoke, for Flintshire County Council's Heritage Alive project on myths and legends, for Ellesmere Port’s Fusion project, Cheshire County Council’s Carry on Listening project for people with learning difficulties and for Age Concern for both the WearPurple arts project and the BBC’s People’s War project. He also provided distance learning workshops for writers in Africa as part of the British Council’s Crossing Borders project and travelled to Kenya to run workshops and give a reading. He has recently been writing poems in a collaborative project with the American artist, Daniel Bonnell.
He was appointed 'Cheshire Poet Laureate' for 2004 and 'Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year 2010'.
Since the beginning of January 2002 I have worked full-time as a writer, performer and tutor of creative writing.
In addition to my performances, I have been involved in the following projects:
Work on the B.B.C.'s WW2 People's War project.
Lecturer on poetry at Liverpool John Moores University.
Running workshops to help create poems for the United Nations' 'Poems for Peace' anthology.
Workshops with schools, youth clubs, writers' groups, U3A groups and members of the public as part of Congleton Borough Council's Imprints community arts project. I was appointed as the Literary Arts Form Specialist to work on this 18 month project throughout the five towns in the Congleton Borough.
Distance learning workshops for writers in Africa as part of the British Council funded Crossing Borders project run by Lancaster University. As part of this project, I have visited Kenya to run a series of workshops and give a reading.
Workshops in Wales for Flintshire County Council's ?Heritage Alive project on myths and legends.
Workshops in Wales for Flintshire County Council's 'Creative Arts Days'.
Workshops for the Dr. Samuel Johnson Tercentenary Project
Running creative writing workshops within schools for Buxton Opera House for their Feeder Reader Living Book project. The resultant work was published and performed at Buxton Opera House.
Running poetry workshops for Age Concern's Wearpurple project. A CD has now been produced on which I give readings of the poems created.
Tutoring a weekly Creative Writing evening class for South Cheshire College.
Running workshops with the residents and schoolchildren of Northwich for the Salt Museum's Changing History project.
Running writing workshops with schoolchildren in Crewe on a council funded regeneration programme.
Fortnightly workshops for Cheshire County Council's Social Services division at a Resource Centre for people with severe and enduring mental health problems.
Weekly workshops for Cheshire County Council at Drop-in Centres for the disabled.
Creative writing courses at Day Care Centres.
Regular part-time work at Styal Prison running poetry workshops and teaching basic skills.
Running evening poetry workshops for inmates at Styal Prison - the results published in a collection entitled Poetic Justice.
Hosting regular Poems & Pints events.
Workshops in the mental health sector and work as M.C. at Open Minds event for Cheshire Mental Health week.
Work with schoolchildren in Frodsham to create a poem for a permanent Sandstone Trail waymarker located in the centre of the village.
Workshops throughout Cheshire's schools as part of 'Cheshire Young People's Learning Journey'.
Two week-long residencies in Goostrey and Kelsall working, in collaboration with a musician and film maker with village residents on projects for The Rural Touring Network. The work has now been released on CD and DVD.
Collaborating with a musician/digital artist on Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council's Fusion project.
Running regular workshops for Radio Stoke.
Working with people with learning difficulties for Cheshire County Council's Carry on Listening and 'Listen to me' projects.
As 2004's Cheshire Poet Laureate, writing commissioned poems, giving and hosting poetry readings and running a variety of workshops.
Toured with four other Cheshire Poet Laureates (past and present) in the highly successful 'Bunch of Fives' show in 2007/8. A follow up show, 'Fourpenny Circus' toured in 2009.
The Casting Boat (Headland, 2009)
House of Wonders (Riverdane, 2008)
Cheshire Rising (Cheshire County Council, 2005)
Scarecrow Crimes (New Hope International, 2002)
Stills From November Campaigns (Tarantula, 1998).
Cages and Fields (1982)
Pacific Envelope (1976)
Lifemarks (Cub Publishing 2007)
Poems for Peace (United Nations Association 2007)
UniVerse (Keele University 2007)
Lines on the Map (Cheshire County Council 2006)
Saturday Night Desperate (Ragged Raven Press 2003)
Biscuit Poetry Prize Winners 2002 (Biscuit Publishing 2002)
Biscuit Poetry Prize Winners 2001 (Biscuit Publishing 2001)
The Painter?s Quarry (The Indian King Arts Centre 2001)
Growl (Congleton Writers? Forum 2000)
Football: Pure Poetry (Creative Energy 1999)
Bridestones Dreaming (Congleton Writers? Forum 1997)
Edinburgh Review, Envoi, Dream Catcher, In the Red, Orbis, Iron, Halfway Magazine, Flambard, Ragged Raven, Patchwork, Citizen 32, Beyond the Cloister, Drum, Other Poetry, Poetry Nottingham International, The Interpreter's House, Read On, Bogg, Obsessed with Pipework, Brando's Hat, The Affectionate Punch, iota, Krax, T.O.P.S., Subway through Time, Lateral Moves, Sprung Rhythms, Smoke, New Manchester Review, tex'ture, The Ugly Tree, The Coffee House, Weyfarers.
Words of Silk Open Poetry Competition Winner
Lancaster Literature Festival - three times prize-winner
Jackson's Arm Poetry Pamphlet Competition - runner up
Manchester Open Poetry - prize-winner
Blythe Spirit Open Poetry - prize-winner
Leicester Open Poetry Competition commended
Manchester Cathedral Competition - commended
Ottakar's bookshops runner up
Library of Avalon 2nd prize
Sheffield CND National Competition 3rd prize
John Lindley visited our school on National Poetry Day. He was an absolute inspiration to the girls. He gave a talk on himself, his poetry and poetry writing in general to the whole of our Year 7. The question and answer section at the end showed that the girls had responded enthusiastically to his talk.
He then conducted a workshop with a Year 8 class in which he led them to produce their own poems. Some of the finished pieces were exciting and clever. The class teacher was full of praise for the way in which Mr Lindley got the best from the girls.
He finished with another talk and reading - this time to a top group of Year 10 pupils. Again, the girls were interested in his work and were keen to hear the poems.
It was an intense three hours and our visitor worked hard.
It was a super morning and we are very grateful to Mr Lindley for the content and delivery of his talk. It is so useful of the girls to 'see' and 'hear' a 'real life' poet. He certainly stimulated some of them to write poetry of their owm.
Head of English, Alderley Edge School for Girls
In the Autumn of 2002 John Lindley worked with several classes in this school as part of the Congleton Borough Council Imprint Project. He worked with confidence in our Junior classes. The children produced poems of a high standard and very varied in content. The residencies were highly motivational for both children and teachers. It has been most encouraging to see teachers developing the ideas after the residencies were over.
It has been a significant feature of the project that many children have seen their poems published in anthologies. I believe that many art forms require a prerequisite of self belief and this has been part of the legacy John has given to both children and staff in this school.
Teacher, Rode Heath Primary School
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