John Richardson*

MEET UPS: January, May, September

PROJECTS : ( see below )WEBSITE :



As of noon today The Poetry Critique Forum website has been upgraded to
version 0.66

With this version in place you will be able to submit poems for critique
WITHOUT the need for a Dropbox account or the requirement to create and
upload a PDF version of your poem.

You can now directly type or copy and paste the text of your poem into TPCF
via the SPC command button, choosing the Post text option (rather than the
Post url) on the following screen.

There is a video in the HELP forum which illustrates this new facility;
look for the topic Re: Quick Over view – SPC submit poem for critique.

Note: the ability to submit a poem via a URL to a PDF in your Dropbox
remains and you will need a Dropbox account with a public folder if you
wish to attach an audio file to your submission.


1st August The Poetry Critique Forum is now open for everyone to use


8-May-17 The poetry critique forum


The poetry critique forum is open for Beta testing;  


To get started just follow the instructions on the front page. There are 8 video instruction files to watch, and once registered, you can paste links to your draft poems that you want critiqued from your public Dropbox account. The plan is to issue critique pamphlets once a week with a turn around time of about two weeks. 

12-Jan-17 Poetry Critique Forum

If you would like to participate in a survey (so that I can establish the level of  interest) and or register to be an initial user please follow this link to the    

Poetry Critique Form Survey

If you would like more detailed information on the Poetry Critique Forum please download and read this handout document which I shall be presenting at our January meeting


I have four projects I intend to pursue throughout 2017

  1. The PCF project

For a while, Criticism travels side by side with the Work …
Roberto BolañoThe Savage Detectives

I’m interested in promoting/developing tools and techniques for the effective, objective critiquing of poems by poets.

To this end I intend to design, build and operate a Poetry Critique Forum (as a website) where groups of poets can work together privately to critique each others work objectively and anonymously. This is a service I used in the early 90s which worked by exchanging poems and critiques by letter.

I have the website under development on a server on my LAN; the front page of which is shown below.


  1. The Pamphlet project 

Synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence in time   C.G. Jung

bluerosechaferbeetleInspired by the reading, re-reading of Carl Jung’s Synchronicity I would like to work towards publishing pamphlet of poems that explore the surreal possibilities of simultaneity and synchronicity. I have a couple of poems that would form the start/ basis for the work. The working title of this new pamphlet is The Rose Chafer which was an initiator of Jung’s philosophical concept.

  1. The Poem Mapping project

It is not down in any map; true places never are.
Herman Melville

I hope to make publicly available (via my SecretaryBird website) a poetry resource for poetry mapping and analysis, by following up the published research of Rodolfo Delmonte, a professor of linguistics  at Venice university, with whom I’ve had several useful and fruitful interchanges. I have obtained and got working his poetry linguistic analysis software. Below you can see two maps: the first is one of my poems out of reach and for comparison Shakespear’s sonnet 130.



  1. The Background project

 As an ongoing background project I hope/plan to regularly submit my poems for publication to online and offline magazines in order to build a portfolio of successes.


Bath Poetry Cafe Short Poem Competition 2015 : Judge’s Report

John Richardson’ s poem Swimming with the Bo Tree has the allure of a beautifully crafted sonnet though I don’t think the poet wants us to think of this langourous procession of couplets as belonging in any particular formal ‘box’.  The language is daring,not to attract attention to its own cleverness, but to draw us uncomplainingly into the vivid experience the poem wants to share.

I loved the idea of water allowing the poet to ‘unweigh the heavy afternoon,’ of the ‘dazzle of horizontals,’ of the pool subliming its contentment. The poem has great physicality, but marries this very successfully with a sense of the inchoate, intriguing ways the mind can move when it relaxes itself.  Not all its statements are boundaried by the here and now : What is language or music after all / but encoded desire; for if we say ‘water’, are we not speaking of love?

The way this openness of expression plays against the intricate visual detail of the scene – the ‘falling leaves’ are ‘tiny cordate boats’ – works extremely well.

The longer I spent with Swimming with the Bo Tree, the more I found in it to enjoy. Its formal accomplishment is a great pleasure. So is the intensity of the response to the natural world. I also liked the poet’s impulse towards the exact: how light and water move in relation to one another; how this particular stretch of water is part of the vast system of the moon and tides; how colours change as light diminishes. You are gripped by the processes here, not just by the surfaces.

originally published on Sue Boyle Poetry


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