John Gallas Poetry


Mmm ...:
"Suspicion makes the world a thief" - 'Binh Gia Sonnet'

silly bugger















'the greatest New Zealand poet no one has ever heard of'




Poem for May 2024



(from 'Wasted by White Men', book published by Cerasus Poetry)

(No,.14) ‘The Lion Hunter’: Roualeyn Gordon-Cumming

and the Big Game of Bechuanaland, 1844-7


How unpleasant to know Mr Cumming,

out with the guns in the jungle stew

in his wee tartan dress pursuing the tawny lion and the galloping gnu,

the modest dikdik and the browsing buffaloo.


How unpleasant to know Mr Cumming,

out on his hobbyhorse of a hot afternoon

in his barmy bunnet chasing the scornful leopard, the squealy baboon

and the slumbering hippopotamus in its soupy lagoon.


How unpleasant to know Mr Cumming,

out with his hounds in the twittering dawn

with his wee ginger beard hunting the warthog and the skipping buckfawn,

the gliding python and the rhinoceros with his questing horn.


How unpleasant to know Mr Cumming,

out with his claymore on the African plain

with his smoking 10-bore after the ambling elephant and the pangolain,

and the lofty giraffe in the high sugarcane.


How unpleasant to know Mr Cumming,

with his sillie slaughter and his vauntie pen,

O will he nae go hame again :

Yours Sincerely, D. Livingstone, Quelimane.








1. Publication date CARCANET new book OCTOBER 2024: re-designed and re-named - 'Billy 'Nibs' Buckshot: The Complete Works' - his (my?) 200 tankas. Alter ego or cunning discovery? ...

2. Busy co-editing, with Vaughan Rapatahana, a volume of Aotearoa/NZ ex-pat poets/poetry to be called 'Te Pūrere'/'The Flight'. We are under way, reading, sorting funding, Te Pūrere/ex-pat poets etc. Any links, contacts etc gratefully accepted.

3. Just completed the translation of all available Hans Davidsohn (Jakob van Hoddis) poems. Around 50 in all, tellingly short (mostly). The poet was murdered in Belzec in 1942, aged 55 ('vanHoddis' an anagram of 'Davidsohn').

4. Just won the Wells Festival Poetry Prize with 'horsebreezes': a very welcome £1000. And a 2nd prize in the Welsh Cambrian Mountain Poetry competition, along with a Bournemouth Festival 'place in the anthology' 'A Line in the Sand') AND a shortlist place for the Oxford 'Taste' Poetry Competition.

5. Producing, for each forthcoming issue of PNReview, a small set of 5 translations of short poems by writers from all places and periods: called MONDO DE KVAR ANGULOJ ('World of 4 Corners' in Esperanto) : 'Arboj' (Trees) , 'Macino' (Machines), 'Dormo' (Sleep) in PNReview 274-6, just done the proofs for set no.4, 'Melankolio'.

6. Have delivered whole text of my translation of Reinhard Sorge's (1892-1916) 'After the End: Posthumous Poems' to SLG Press, Oxford. Publication to be sometime in 2024.

7. Two new collections now out in SLG Oxford's series of 'Contemplative Poetry'. My translations of poems by Gabriela Mistral (first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Literature Prize, 1945) and 'Touchpapers', a volume of short-poem translations from around the world. Books available from

8. A fab & wonderful review in the Times Literary Supplement of my & bro's 'Petrus Borel: Rhapsodies 1831' translation/book (Carcanet) - 'rivals the original' and 'a reliquary of gems'. Available to read online, or buy September 30th 2022 TLS.

9. Work in Progress: 'Fork Flats', a group of 35 poems that, upon reading, build up into a picture of an 'otherwise' society, a kind of jigsaw-puzzle for the reader: and some translating of Boris Vian poems, fresh, jazzy, informal and cool ...

10. 'The Extasie', 64 love poems, now out, with its wonderful cover - and contents, of course. Available to buy at all good bookshops, or order from Amazon and/or

***** it is ...

A SUNDAY TIMES SUMMER READ RECOMMENDATION (see also Financial Times Literary Supplement) and a fab review from 'coffeetime' ('love poetry at its best') - read at


Complete Book List

Practical Anarchy (Carcanet)

Flying Carpets Over Filbert Street (Carcanet)

Grrrrr (Carcanet)

Resistance is Futile (Carcanet)

The Ballad of Robin Hood and the Deer (Agraphia Press), pictures by Clifford Harper

The Ballad of Santo Caserio (Agraphia Press), pictures by Clifford Harper

The Song Atlas (Carcanet)

Star City (Carcanet)

The Book with Twelve Tales (Carcanet)

Fucking Poets (3 vols) (Cold Hub Press NZ)

40 Lies (Carcanet) pictures by Sarah Kirby

Fresh Air & The Story of Molecule (Carcanet)

52 Euros (Carcanet)

Pacifictions (Cold Hub Press NZ)

Mad John's Walk (Five Leaves : Occasional Pamphlets) January 2017

The Little Sublime Comedy (Carcanet) 2018

17 Very Pacific Poems (Indigo Dreams) 2019

The Blood Book (Gerolstein Press)

The Gnawing Flood (Cerasus Publishing) 2021

The Extasie (Carcanet) 2021

Amado Nervo: Poems of Faith & Doubt (SLG Press, Oxford) 2021

Aotearoa/Angleland: 30+30 tankas (New Walk Editions) 2021

Petrus Borel 'Rhapsodies', translated from the French by John & Kurt Gallas (Carcanet Classics)

The High Roof of Heaven (Anglo-Saxon poems transl. JG) (SLG Press, Oxford) 2022

Where Grace Grows Ever Green (Middle English poems transl.ed JG) SLG Press, Oxford) 2022

17 Paper Resurrections (from graveyards in mid-Wales: picture-poems) (Dempsey & Windle 2022)

Drops in the Sea of Time: Poetry of Woman & God (SLG Press, Oxford 2022)

Fly Not Too High: Holy Sonnets of Gabrielle de Coignard & Vittoria Colonna (SLG 2022)

This Far Place: poems of Gabriela Mistral (SLG 2023)

Touchpapers (SLG 2023) Contemplative Poetry series No.11

* The Poems of Reinhard Sorge (SLG due out 2023/4)

* The Alphabet of Ugly Animals (Cerasus Press) - due out 2024

* Billy 'Nibs' Buckshot: The Complete Works (Carcanet) - due out October 2024



John Gallas Poetry

Carcanet Press

Carcanet blog

John Gallas Facebook

Cold Hub Press (NZ)

New Walk Editions

Five Leaves publishing/bookshop (Mad John's Walk)

Agraphia / Clifford Harper

YouTube (Paterau Sonnent / The Blobfish Sings Under the Sea)

STAND Magazine

Indigo Dreams publishing

Spinoff (NZ)

The John Clare Project

The Sutton Hoo Ship Build (Sponsor that Rivet)

SLG Press (Series of Contemplative Poetry)

Dempsey & Windle, publishers of '17 Paper Resurrections'



silly buggers book

You are visitor number 150122

Powered by WebGuild Solo

This website ©2004-2024 John Gallas