Philip John

A Welsh poet and author from the Rhondda Valleys, Philip M John graduated from the University of South Wales in 2014 before working and living across the border in Bristol. He has since returned to Wales and now resides in Monmouthshire.

Philip has published four volumes of poetry – Home Truths (2018), Searching for Seahorses (2020), Songs of Youth (2021), and Wales: Poetry for a Nation (2023). Drawing from experiences of working class Wales and beyond, he explores the human condition, nature, history, the environment, and the existential questions in the search for purpose. He has performed poetry readings at arts festivals, on BBC Radio, and as part of musical collaborations. Philip has recently been working on a memoir style novella as well as another poetry volume inspired by his country and its history.

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Stewart Carry Wed, 26/07/2023 - 09:12

A great hook to get the reader involved...the tension builds as we start to root for our 'hero's...a little more attention to body language etc would be welcome.

Cat Margulis Fri, 11/08/2023 - 04:34

I like how well you bring us into the story, teaching us newbies about the game while still coming off as an insider and one who knows the scene and game intimately. The intro is alluring, but the ending is flat. I'm also curious how this story will develop over the course of the book, and some foreshadowing as to where this will all lead and how it will transform the protagonist (for better or worse?) will help the reader navigate with an eye to the larger arch of the book. Great beginning!

Tammy Letherer Sun, 13/08/2023 - 20:42

I enjoyed the voice and pacing of the opening paragraphs, and you did a good job of orienting me to the who, why, where, when. Your intentions going into the game were well described too, and it was only once the game started that I lost interest. The focus shifted from you, the character, and your conflict, to the details of the game and then lost steam.

Gale Winskill Tue, 22/08/2023 - 17:53

It reads partly like fiction, which is good, but I found the technical details and especially the reference notes really off-putting. I would try to find a way to explain these things within the text, but in a more accessible manner, otherwise you risk alienating non-gambling readers.

Jessica Hatch Mon, 28/08/2023 - 15:33

Interesting premise, as gambling addiction impacts so many people these days, but I don't feel that I get a clear sense of the writer's inner world, which is critical for memoir. In its place is an unnecessary focus on the SOP of a game of Texas Hold 'Em.