Book Launch: ‘Fire in the Afternoon’ by John Stokes

Canfan 21 October 2014

Celebrated poet John Stokes does not shy from the contentious and the harrowing, his verse evokes the plain truth about love, sex and chaos. In a clear, resonant voice Fire in the Afternoon catches the truth in the midst of the storm, his poems resonating from a life that has known joy, loss and solitude in nature.

John Karl Stokes was born on a sharefarm on the banks of the Georges River near Casula, NSW, at a place that no longer exists.He trained as a cartographer and then a land surveyor, before training and working as a town planner in London. He wrote all the while, despite being “specifically and actively discouraged from writing by Alan Sillitoe.”

His first major collection of poems and prose pieces, A River in the Dark, was published in 2003, since then he has won or been shortlisted for many major prizes, and his work has been published widely in Australia, Italy, Japan, U.K., and the U.S.A.

His work has appeared in many anthologies, journals and papers, including Antipodes, The Canberra Times; Island, Newcastle and Hunter anthologies; Meanjin, RedRoom projects; Scarp and Ulitarra. He represented the A.C.T. and Australia at the 2011 International Poetry Festival on the Lake Orta, Italy, publishing a chapbook:- Dancing in the Yard at Eden through the regional authority there and with the assistance of ArtsA.C.T.

An active member of the arts and literary community, he has been a member and a Board member of several Writers Centres, given readings throughout Australia, tutored in writing and in contract management, and represented literary communities of various colours.

He lives in Canberra and is the committed partner of the well-known novelist, Marion Halligan.

When: Thursday, 30 October
Time: 5.45pm for 6.00pm
Where: Paperchain Book Store – 34 Franklin Street, Manuka
RSVP: Telephone 6295 6723 or email

“John Stokes is a poet of light and water and the sound of women’s cries. He has a thing for the Australian landscape.” – Kate Llewellyn

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