We would like to introduce you to John Gallas, a New Zealand poet living in Leicestershire. John visited the Longshed in January 2020 to have a look around and fell in love with what we are doing. John has since said, “As soon as I discovered the Saxon ship Project, I couldn’t wait to be involved in some way. I studied Anglo-Saxon, Medieval English Literature and Old Norse/Icelandic Sagas at University and have always been a fan of the writing and all the wonderful, evocative ‘world view’ that comes out of it. To be really and truly in touch with that spirit happening NOW and HERE with the Project was too good to miss!”.

John has since signed up as a Volunteer Crew Member to write poetry about the ship and the project, some of which will be shared via the Newsletter. John, a St Magnus Festival Orkney Poet and Fellow of the English Association has had many poetry books published, examples include Star City, 52 Euros, The Song Atlas, Fresh Air & the Story of Molecule, 40 Lies and The Little Sublime Comedy, most having being published by Carcanet. John is also a librettist, which we hope to benefit from, and a translator, tramper, cyclist and FOX (or Leicester City Football fan to you and I!) This year John John was the Leicester Univercity’s all-arts Flower Festival Poet.

John publishes a new poem every month on his John Gallas Website, along with an update on his published works and current projects. At present, the book count is up to 30 with more in the pipeline and a string of awards won for his poetry and writing.

In March 2023 John’s Tankas are being painted on the walls of a London gallery for an exhibition about the life cycle of flowers.

To ensure you always get to see or hear John’s latest Ship’s Co poem make sure you are subscribed to our Newsletter. You can also, like John, be part of the ongoing legacy and sponsor one of the rivets or other fixings. John’s rivet is number ‘2530’ which you can see on our sponsor’s page, to get your own rivet just visit our homepage.

John has recently launched a new poetry book called  ‘Aotearoa/Angleland’ which you can see delivering this online performance chaired by New Walk editors Nick Everett and Rory Waterman.

For a fab review of John’s book ‘The Extasie’, click here, the review by Coffee Time Books opens with this glowing introduction, ‘When I picked up a copy of The Extasie, by John Gallas I was slightly trepidatious, as I felt it might be just another hackneyed attempt to link subpar, romantic inclined, poetry to those Elizabethan greats. However, John Gallas is not merely a lyric master, but a master of meaning, for each of these poems has the sincerity of an unread love letter.

The latest book includes The Alphabet of Ugly Animals which is due to be published later this year (2023).

John might have been confined to the caravan at times during the pandemic but he certainly did not remain idle! In 2021 he has won the Parkinsons Art Poet of the Year with his poem The Night my Aunt invented the anarchist hop, a sort-of sonnet for Emma Goldman and received a prize in the Manchester Cathedral Poetry Festival with: a desert sonnet (‘Umm Lahayi).

In March 2022 John won the Brian Dempsey Memorial Poetry Prize, winning the honour of having another collection of poetry published.