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Middlesbrough, 1966: The young new English teacher, John Foggin, rolled into the Lower Sixth’s Eng. Lit. lesson like a Dyson* into a world of broken Hoovers. Joyce and Shelley and Gerard Manley Hopkins danced in his wake, vividly alive and slightly intoxicated. That’s how it seemed to 16 year-old Andy Blackford, anyway.

Almost 50 years later, they were reunited here in Staithes. Foggin was already a much-lauded poet - Blackford’s prime contribution to high culture, the TV jingle for Um Bongo.

They resolved to write a poem each, every week for a year. The result is Gap Year, a collection that has won them the SPM Publications Poetry Book prize and was published this summer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780993503542
Publisher: SPM Publications
Publication date: 06/01/2017
Pages: 86
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.21(d)

About the Author

Andy Blackford enjoyed careers as a rock guitarist and advertising creative director before applying himself seriously to writing.
He is the author of two novels and many children's books and was a longtime columnist on Runner's World magazine for which he ran the world's toughest foot race, the Marathon des Sables.
Nowadays he works as a prison chaplain and is training for Ordination in the Triratna Buddhist Community.
He took up writing poetry when he re-connected with his A Level English teacher, John Foggin, after losing contact for more than 40 years.
He is married and lives in Cambridge.

John Foggin, a retired teacher, advisor and lecturer (Andy Blackford was one of his students, long ago), lives in West Yorkshire, writes a poetry blog: the great fogginzo's cobweb and jointly organises the Puzzle Poets Live in Sowerby Bridge.
His poems have won first prizes in competitions judged by three different Poets Laureate. He has authored four pamphlets and chapbooks. A prize winner in the 2016 Poetry Business Book and Pamplet Competition, his first full collection, Much Possessed was published by smith

Table of Contents


A Long Shot 11

Green Thoughts 12

Time Out 13

Linnaeus 15

How the Universe Works 16

Particle Physics 17

Still Life 18

Sic Transit 19

On the Road Again 20

Points of Etiquette 22

Hole of Horcum, December 23

Staithe 24

Terry’s Shop 25

Beside the Seaside 26

Where Were You? 27

Love isn’t 28

As If 29

A Charm 30

The Deer Hunter 31

Flitwing the Bat 32

Thicket 33

Cuttlefish Common 34

A Quiet September 36

Tuesday Nights in Autumn 37

The Story of the Careless Hare 38

Passed on 39

Making time 40

At Alton Towers 42

Inventory 43

Auntie Lillian 44

My One Grandma 45

Remedial 46

Domestic 47

Another Country 48

Rachel’s Wedding 49

Nocturne 50

Esprit D’escalier 51


On the Blink 52

High Dependency 53

Exam in Progress 54

The Uses of Literacy 55

Expect the Worst 56

Rondo 57

Christ in the Peter and Paul Fortress 58

Don’t Count Your Chickens 60

The Shepherd and the Settlers 61

The Dalai Lama Comes to Cambridge 62

The Ghosts of Padmakola 63

Where Holy Hides 64

Taken by the Tide 65

On Retreat at Padmoloka 66

Bodhidarma 67

Emblems 68

Because children don’t see 70

Let Go of Old Songs 72

A Gallery for My Mother 73

Cold Hands 74

About Death 75

Willow 76

Samadhi 77

We Know in Our Blood 78

End Titles 79

At Last the Road 80

Backtracks 81

About Andy Blackford 83

About John Foggin 84

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