John Hegely
John Hegely (Photo: Alison Ruddock)

Born in Newington Green, North London, John was educated in Luton and Bristol schools and the University of Bradford – Sociology/European Literature and the History of Ideas. Sustained exploration of father’s French roots. First work in writing and performance with Interaction Community arts, London, 1978 whose interactive ethos and techniques continue informing work.

John Peel sessions with The Popticians, Radio 1, 1983/4. Host of Border TV poetry series, Word of Mouth 1989. Perrier Comedy Award nominee, the same year. Three Series of Hearing with Hegley, Radio 4 – 1996-2000.  BBC Online poet in residence 1999. 2010 – working with Company Paradiso in ‘Warning, May Contain Nuts’ alongside BBC Radios Sussex and Berkshire, challenging stigmas around mental illness. 2012, Keats House poet in residence. 2019 – Arts Council of England funded project working with four fellow poets, taking children to art galleries to delve into, and respond to art works.

Twelve books, most recently New and Selected Potatoes, with Bloodaxe Books. Workshops in prisons, hospitals, schools and touring and festival presentations with music, drawings, verse and small amount of baroque dance…