Biography & Publications

After an oil painting by Alex Smith


Born Donald Smith in Coventry, England 1943. BA in English from University College London 1964, M.Phil University of London 1970. Lecturer in Further and Higher Education in North Hertfordshire 1971 - 2006. Publishing as John Gohorry since 1975. Married with seven adult children and stepchildren, sixteen grandchildren and stepgrandchildren.


Poetry, short fiction, and articles broadcast and published in a wide range of sources including The Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, London Magazine, Critical Survey, Poetry Review, Poetry Durham, Encounter, The Antigonish Review, The Warwick Review.



A Coventry Crucible by John Gohorry & John Lane (Lapwing Publications, 2021)

Exploring Psalmanazar (Shoestring Press, June 2020)

The Stock Exchange of Ideas (Arenig Press, September 2019)

Squeak, Budgie! (Smokestack Books, May 2019)

Not a Silent Night / Keine Stille Nacht by John Gohorry & Bettine Koch (Shoestring Press, November 2017)

Impromptus for George Erdmann & The Good Samaritan, a libretto for a conjectural Abendmusik, 1705 (Lapwing Publications, December, 2015)

The Age of Saturn (Shoestring Press, March, 2015)

Adagios on Ré - Adagios en Ré (Lapwing Publications, 2014)

On the Blue Cliff (Dark Age Press, 2012)

Samuel Johnson's Amber (Shoestring Press, 2010)

Forty-Eight Gates (Dark Age Press, 2009)

Imagining Magdeburg (Shoestring Press, 2007)

Talk into the Late Evening (Peterloo, 1992), Poetry Book Society Recommendation 1992/3

A Voyage Round the Moon (Peterloo, 1985)

Prizes and competitions

2013flamingofeather Poetry Competition
Prize for poem The Apotheosis of Colonel P.H. Fawcett
2008Keats/Shelley Memorial Association Poetry Competition
1st prize for poem Lost
2007Times Literary Supplement Poetry Competition
Prize for poem At a provincial zoo
2002Library of Avalon Poetry Competition
1st prize for poem Land Measures
1996Stand International Poetry Competition
Prize for poem Imagining Magdeburg
1991Arvon International Poetry Competition
Prize for poem Amber
1981Ver Poets Michael Johnson Memorial Poetry Competition
1st prize for poem Anaglypta and Corydon

Multi media experiments

Ongoing integrations of text, image and music

A sunset meditation (December, 2014)In the Carwash (February, 2015)
Hours (December, 2011)At Swarthbeck Gill (November, 2011)
At Marqueyssac (August, 2011)I am not the moon (August, 2011)
Say it with flowers (June, 2011)Beauty and the Beast (November, 2010)
Safe Storage (November, 2010)A Singing Bowl (October, 2010)
The Boyfriend (September, 2010)Rooks at Knucklas (August, 2010)
Lizard (July 2009)Gargoyles (June 2009)
Trizay Music Moon (June 2009)

All can be found at this link


Thirty-Three Ostrich Cadenzas a sequence of poems exploring the adventures and fates of seven birds freed in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown in March, 2011 (Shoestring Press, 2017)

Ten Pantomime Sketches 10 poems for the pantomime season, with 10 line illustrations and a cover/titlepage by Magus (www.johngohorry.co.uk, November 2013)

A Manager's Dog a sequence of 18 poems in which a dog tells the story of his and his master's rise to power (and beyond) in a modern business organisation (Shoestring Press, 2011)

That Inward Eye poem with poems by John Lane and by William Wordsworth on the subject of daffodils, with a colour photograph by Melissa Mitchell (www.johngohorry.co.uk, March 2010)

The Time of Day 10 poems and 5 poems by John Lane, celebrating the Ile de Ré, together with a black and white photograph (www.johngohorry.co.uk, February 2010)

From the Slopes of Mount Rozan 10 poems about the mischievous friends Kanzan and Jittoku, with mixed media portraits of each by Jone Delahaye (www.johngohorry.co.uk, August 2009)

Barbarian 5 poems on the subject of Bodhidharma, with mixed media colour image by Jone Delahaye (www.johngohorry.co.uk, May 2008)

Stone Places 10 poems & 10 poems by John Lane, mixed media images by Jone Delahaye (www.johngohorry.co.uk, August 2007)

Five Trompe l'Oeil verses mixed media images by Jone Delahaye (www.johngohorry.co.uk, February 2007)

Barnacle Oak cover image by Jone Delahaye (www.johngohorry.co.uk, August 2006)

Eight Chinese Verses - linocut illustrations by Jone Delahaye (in Take Five 04, Shoestring Press, 2004)

Imagining Dr Minor - linocut illustrations by Jone Delahaye (Shoestring Press, 2001)

A Life of Merlin - monoprint illustrations by John Gruenwald (Bullnettle Press, San Francisco 2000)

Arcadian Silver - seven poems (Letchworth, 1998)

Merlin Broadsides - lithograph illustrations by John Gruenwald (Bullnettle Press, San Francisco 1998)

Ten Oxherding Poems - linocut illustrations by Jone Delahaye (Typographaeum Press, Francestown, New Hampshire, 1997)

Merzbilder - with illustrations by Bernd Reichert (Nora Handpresse Düsseldorf, 1995)

Nocturne in Memory of Freda Downie - Priapus Press, 1994

Amber - a selection of poems from a prize-winning sequence Arvon International Poetry Competition 1991 (Arvon Foundation, 1993)

Voices from Lange Halde - with a woodcut by Werner Brenneke (Nora Handpresse Düsseldorf, 1990)

A Light for the Birkenkopf - illustrations by George Walker (Wind of Change, Toronto, 1989)

Hobbes’s Whale- wood engravings by Simon Brett (Paulinus Press, 1988)

Hinreise nach Sonnehbühl - silk screen illustrations by John Brogden, mixed media illustrations by Werner Brenneke (Nora Handpresse Düsseldorf, 1988)

An Incident in the Plaza del Zocodover, Toledo 1584with drawings by Peter Lisieski (Bullnettle Press, San Francisco, 1987)

Terra Damnata (Roger Burford Mason, Hitchin, 1987)

A Lecturing Life (Grammelot Press, 1986)

A Letter from Lewis Chaucer to his father, Geoffrey Chaucer (Perdix Press, 1985)

The Coast of Bohemia (Mandeville Press, 1981)

Understudies (Priapus Press, 1980)

A Galanty Show (Fearnhill School Press, 1979)

Five Poems - with a lithograph by Colin Reeve (Kit Cat Press, 1977)

Joining the Dark (Dodman Press, 1975)


From the Book of the Forking Paths (World Wide Writers 4, 1998)

Project Butterfly - a keizei shosetsu (business story), (Bridport, 1997)

At the top of the Fernsehturm The European MagAZine 31 March - 6 April, 1995

A Question of Faith Radio 3 August 9, 1986 (Producer Alec Reid)

Acts of Merit (Encounter September/October, 1984)

The Future arrives last Year (Encounter June, 1983)