John Looker (Chapbook Confessions #1)

So pleased to have John Looker (a poet I personally admire & enjoy reading immensely) to start off our new series Chapbook Confessions.
I really do encourage you, after reading John’s piece, to have a glimpse at what this Chapbook Confession malarkey is all about & if you fit the criteria & want to contribute, then we would be more than pleased to read what you send us. We are hoping this will be not only useful to readers, but perhaps…what’s the right word, Ah! Cathartic (that should do it) for the writers themselves.

Underfoot Poetry

Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here.

Below, John Looker writes on his 2015 collection The Human Hive (Bennison Books)


519wanKURJL._SY346_Asked to explain the secrets of his craft, the alchemist would wrap his cloak more tightly and withdraw to his tower in silence. The mountebank however, holding his phial of coloured water high, might become loquacious about herbs gathered by moonlight on the shores of Arabia. 

I feel uncomfortable talking about how I write my poems. I would prefer to say nothing. Saying anything at all incurs the risk of becoming a charlatan. However, as I’ve been ‘shown the instruments’ and have to say something, I’ll try to find a middle way. I am grateful to Underfoot for publishing some of my poems, and I…

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3 thoughts on “John Looker (Chapbook Confessions #1)

    1. Thanks for unwrapping the cloak for a moment and sharing these details. It punches up my resolve that there are many roads to a good poem. The best are often the ones we labor over the most. I don’t buy into the concept that writing ‘off the cuff’ gives a poem any stamp of authenticity. These moments of clarity—rewriting, re-envisioning, editing, then starting over—this, I’ve found, is what makes poetry a vibrant art.

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