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Write Out Loud regular John Botterill airs collection on radio

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Write Out Loud regular John Botterill has published a collection of his poetry under the pen name of JG Barwell - and was interviewed about it on Manchester’s ALL-FM 96.9 radio station. 

John explained how he started writing poetry in retirement: “One day my grandson William was born and, after I had held the future in my hands, I wrote my first poem.  After writing 100 poems, approximately, I decided to start publishing them on Write Out Loud, getting valuable feedback from other aspiring poets, which gave me the confidence to think I could publish a collection of poetry of my very own.

“My first collection, Released on Licence (Poetic Licence), has been self-published on KPD and sold by Amazon. It was surprisingly easy for a technophobe, like me, to do and involved downloading my poems onto an app called Kindle Direct and exporting the finished document to KPD.  Voila!  (I’m not being paid a commission, by the way.  Just thought budding poets might be interested!)

“Released on Licence is a collection of poems covering a range of events, moods, times, the happy-sad feelings which have affected us during and after the pandemic. There are even a few jokes in there, too, if you look closely enough. The title stems from a piece of whimsy called ‘Poetic Licence.’ A teacher friend of mine called Neil Shaw used to give students a Poetic Licence for exceptional work. So, I explored the idea of giving one to myself in a poem which later morphed into the title of my collection.’

“JG Barwell is a pseudonym I chose because Stephen Gospage has a pen name (Charly Bishop) and I thought I would emulate him, as I do with a lot of my writing. I thought the name had an ‘established poet’ feel.”

John said that all proceeds from his book are being donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust “who supported my daughter, Laura, in her battle with lymphoma 10 or so years ago. They are an amazing charity who support the seven teenagers who every day, on average, are given the message ‘you’ve got cancer’. Put your hand in your pocket, buy my book, and support the TCT please. The link to Amazon makes it easy for you!

He added: “The superb radio presenter, Ruth O’Reilly (also a Write Out Loud contributor), invited me onto her ALL-FM 96.9 show on Sunday 20 November to promote my collection.  If you want to hear our chat, some poetry and my ageing hippy song selections please follow this link.”


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John Botterill

Thu 24th Nov 2022 17:32

Thanks Stephen. A typically generous comment! 👍

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 24th Nov 2022 17:21

Well done, John. The book is very entertaining and I think you have beaten me in the pseudonym department.

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