John Jones Black Mountain Poet

About the man

John Jones is a stockman from the Black Mountains of Gwent, South Wales. He is both founder member and co-ordinator for the Collective, a Welsh based contemporary poetry organisation, since its inception in 1990. He has read his work internationally, talked of it on radio and been filmed by the BBC and The Moving Picture Company, Milan. In the Observer he was called both ‘consistent and original’. The Magazine PQR described him as R.S.Thomas with muscles and went on to say, “His poetry is shaped to the land, to the moment. John Jones shapes and crafts poems like a piece of winter wood; they are worth long contemplation”. He has been awarded an Arts Council Bursary towards his writing, and development of what he terms ‘containment theory’.

Further insight

“John Jones is both farmer and poet, but romanticism has no place in his experience or portrayal of life on the land at the end of the twentieth century. And it is the land, the working of it, the living in it, the stark daily reality of it, that is the core of his poetic vision. It gives his poems a remarkable honesty and clarity. Yet they are never bleak. Bleakness implies despair and despair is a luxury few farmers can afford. Like the hill country he farms, John Jones’ poems are uncompromising, unforgiving and dangerous. There is no room for waste, no room for poetic posture. John Jones is not a poet for the faint hearted.”

Frank Olding
Welsh Language Editor Poetry Wales

John Jones Poet from South Wales