Only child of seaside entertainers. Has published three volumes of poetry, Sabon Gari (London Magazine Editions), First the Desert Came and then the Torturer (under the name of Idi Bukar, with RAG Press, Zaria, Nigeria), Letter to Patience (Seren, winner of the 2006 Costa Award). Prizes in National Poetry Competition, Arvon International Poetry Competition, Troubadour Competition, International Sonnet Competition. Anthologised in The Committed Individual (Penguin), London Magazine Poems (Harper Collins), Tying the Song (Enitharmon).
Has also written books about language, style and African poetry, and some children’s stories. Most of professional life spent as lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. Now lives in Cowplain with Nigerian born wife and two children, teaches creative writing with WEA and Poetry Studio.
John Haynes talks about his book Letter to Patience as part of the Costa Award 2006.
THE PIANIST LIVES BY HIS HANDS HIS HANDS ARE EMPTY
in memory of my father
The pianist lives by his hands.
His hands are empty.
In a room of old programmes –
pantos, summer shows, variety –
love is touch.
Love beats with felt hammers
at the subtle cage,
eyes from a silent screen,
ends with this sequence
dissolving unresolved into the apple trees,
the grass, a brilliant
starling of sequins.
First published in London Magazine