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John Stammers (born 1954 Islington, London) is a British poet and writer.


Stammers read philosophy at King's College London and is an Associate of King's College. He took up writing poetry in his 30s, joining Michael Donaghy’s City University poetry group. Stammers now teaches at City Lit.[1] In 2002/03 he was appointed Judith E Wilson Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He has edited Magma magazine and was convenor of the British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference. His work has also appeared in London Review of Books,[2] The New Republic, Poetry Daily (US), Poetry Review and various broadsheets.

Stammers lives in London with his wife and their two sons.[3]

Critical assessmentEdit

Cressida Connolly in The Daily Telegraph asks: "Is it possible to be a first-rate romantic poet and yet make mention of Ovaltine, Plexiglas, Rock Hudson, a macramé plant-holder, visiting the chiropodist and wiping dog-mess off a shoe? In the case of John Stammers, the answer is a resounding yes. His first collection, Panoramic Lounge Bar, introduced poetry readers to a spectacular talent and won the Forward Prize for the best new poet of 2001. Stammers's voice is idiosyncratic, at once tender and funny, fresh and familiar."[4]

Critic Stephen Burt reviews Stolen Love Behaviour: "We know that a talented 21st-century English poet (Paul Farley, say) can render the 21st-century city in quick, ironic, breezy sketches. And we know that an extraordinarily talented 21st-century London poet (let's call him, for convenience, Mark Ford) can pursue the opacities of modern sociolects along with the bafflements of adult life. Can the same 21st-century poet do both? In cityscapes, domestic interiors, and briskly ironized variations on inherited language-games, John Stammers' second collection tries, and largely succeeds. His less ambitious poems capture moments in (or after) failed romance (less often, successful ones), or days spent in alien urban sites: the more ambitious works explore interiorities, wishes, hypotheticals, "director's cuts of the lives we've never led,/ unreleased and maiden from the archives."[5]


  • 2001 Forward Prize for Best First Collection (for Panoramic Lounge-Bar)
  • 2001 Whitbread Poetry Award shortlisted (for Panoramic Lounge-Bar)
  • 2005 Waterstones Best New Poetry (for 'Stolen Love Behaviour')
  • 2005 Poetry Book Society Choice (for 'Stolen Love Behaviour')
  • 2005 Forward Prize for Best Collection (shortlist) (for 'Stolen Love Behaviour')
  • 2005 TS Eliot Award (shortlist)(for 'Stolen Love Behaviour')


  • Panoramic Lounge-bar (Picador, 2001)
  • Buffalo Bills (pamphlet, Donut Press, 2004)
  • Stolen Love Behaviour (Picador, 2005)
  • Interior Night (Picador, 2010)
  • The Picador Book of Love Poems (Editor, Picador, 2011)
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins - Poet to Poet (Editor, Faber and Faber, 2012)


  1. ^ City Lit course Archived 2009-07-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ LRB
  3. ^ Macmillan profile
  4. ^ Cressida Connolly (20 Mar 2005). "John Stammers". The Telegraph.
  5. ^ "Stephen Burt reviews Stolen Love Behaviour by John Stammers". Tower Poetry. Archived from the original on 2009-08-30. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External linksEdit