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John Gallas

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  • John Gallas is poet from New Zealand. 9 books published by Carcanet, including 'Star City', 'The Song Atlas', Fresh Air and the Story of Molecule', and '52 Euros'. A 10th, 'The Little Sublime Comedy' is due out in July 2017. Three collections with Cold Hub Press (NZ) www.coldhubpress.co.nz, and two ballad books (illustrations by Clifford Harper) with Agraphia www.agraphia. co.uk

    Librettist for 'The Iris Murders' (opera by Alasdair Nicolson) and 'Toads on a Tapestry' (Magna Carta canata by David Knotts). This year's poet at the St Magnus Festival, Orkney. Recently made Fellow of the English Society. Radio 3 and Radio 4 appearances ;  readings on the South Bank, at Cheltenham, Commonwealth Festival, and Kings College.
    John Gallas was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1950, and was a child in Richmond, Tahunanui, Nelson, Lake Rotoiti, Mount Robert and St Arnaud. He then went to Otago University in New Zealand, and won a Commonwealth Scholarship to Merton College, Oxford to study medieval literature.

    He settled in England in 1973, living in York, Liverpool, Shropshire, Rothwell and Leicester, and now lives in Coalville, Leics. He works for the Leicestershire Student Support Service, teaching permanently excluded schoolchildren.

    In 1987 he threw away everything he had written, and started again. A prize in the National Poetry Competition led to the publication of his first collection with Carcanet Press, Practical Anarchy. Then followed Flying Carpets Over Filbert Street, Grrrrr, Resistance is Futile, The Song Atlas (ed. - a translation of one poem from each country in the world) and Star City.

    His minor obsessions number Central Asia and Mongolia, camels, cycling (with the Complete Coasts of Britain and Ireland done), kinds of anarchism, swimming, Fellini, Beckett, Cormac McCarthy, Schnittke, tramping, T.E.Lawrence, sitting breathless on the tops of mountains, and writing poetry.
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