John Coopey

John Coopey writes mostly about the little things in life, leaving weighty subjects to other poety types. Besides poetry he writes short stories and songs (mostly parodies) on a range of subjects, many of which are irreverent and some downright bawdy. This, though, is a collection you could give your granny (perhaps with the warning that he can be a bit naughty). His poetry lends itself particularly well to performance and he is well known on the open mic circuit around Yorkshire where he jokes that he is often “booed on”.

John spent 20 years in the coalmining industry, followed by 20 years as a freelance manager and, before retiring recently, was Verger at Selby Abbey, all of which have supplied him with a wealth of stories and observations for his work. His real inspiration, however, is his family consisting of wife Judy (“Our Gert” in many of his poems) and grown-up daughters, Sarah and Samantha.

From the glories of the stand pie to speculation on the uses of the Dyson Airblade, from Houghton Main Colliery to 8th Century Lindisfarne, John Coopey’s poems combine precision with infectious enthusiasm, a nerdy love of facts with a taproom passion for spinning a yarn. Poems don’t have to rhyme, although these do – what makes them ‘proper poems’ is that you remember them.

Ian Harker