John Godfrey

John Godfrey

  • John Godfrey was born in Massena, N.Y. in 1945. He is the author of 14 collections of poetry, including The City Keeps: Selected and New Poems 1966-2014 (Wave Books, May 2016). He received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1967, and took a B.S. in Nursing from Columbia University in 1994. He has received fellowships from the General Electric Foundation (1984), the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2009), and the Z Foundation (2013). He retired in 2011 after 17 years as a nurse clinician in HIV/AIDS. He has lived in the East Village of Manhattan since the 1960s.

    Winner of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant for 2009

    (Author photo by John Sarsgard)

  • Reviews
    John Godfrey is a karma yogi—to be useful in the world to those who suffer, and to write these black jewel-like fractured poems for our contemplation.
    —Barbara Henning

    We walk with Godfrey but also feel two steps behind—and it’s this constant feeling of walking next to him yet needing to catch up, the tension of intimate distance, that keeps us engaged.
    —Gina Myers, Bookslut

    He incorporates vernacular, he blows fuses on clichés, and he scalpels away bookkeeping words to jump-cut high energy, emotive phrasings. Blink and you’ll miss it.
    —Forrest Gander, Harriet Blog

    Godfrey's jumpy, sometimes disjointed poems belong to an exciting recent tradition: they describe day-to-day, block-to-block, moment-to-moment life in the downtown Bohemia of New York, as Ted Berrigan (among others) did in the 1960s and 1970s. In short lines and disconnected phrases, Godfrey considers the ups and downs of sexual attraction...and the ever-changing cityscapes he sees.
    Publishers Weekly

    Reviews of books by John Godfrey

    City of Corners

    The City Keeps: Selected and New Poems 1966-2014

  • - "In the Chamber" in Poetry

    - A Portrait of John Godfrey on The Poetry Project

    - Eight Poems (in The Brooklyn Rail)

  • Audio
    - Reading “Pouring Gulf” at Brown University
    - John Godfrey’s page at PennSound

    - Reading his poetry for The Poetry Project's Portraits of Poets Series

    On writing:

    Reading with John Koethe at The Poetry Project:

  • Monday NOVEMBER 21, 2016 7:00pm

    John Godfrey and Rebecca Wolff will read with Henry Israeli for the KGB Bar: Monday Night Poetry Series.

    KGB Bar, 85 East 4th St., New York, NY



Tags: John Godfrey

Related Titles

City of Corners - John Godfrey
City of Corners
[John Godfrey]