Poetry. John Godfrey wrote these poems during 2011 and 2012 in Manhattan's East Village, where he's lived since the 1960s. Charles Bernstein finds, "an evanescent lilt... Perception becomes an aroma of reflection and infatuation in John Godfrey's fractured songs." Anselm Hollo says John Godfrey, "hands us... richly unpredictable language."
John Godfrey was born in Massena, New York in 1945. He integrated a kindergarten in a working-class second- generation Japanese neighborhood in Honolulu. Three years later he attended the public school in Bennington, Vermont for five years, followed by a year in Albany, New York. In 1960 he was relocated to Farmers Branch, Texas and finished high school in Dallas. He graduated from Princeton in 1967. Halfway through that alienating experience, in 1965, he was opened up to "The New American Poetry," particularly the New York avant-garde poetry culture of the time. He has lived in the East Village of Manhattan since the end of the 1960s. He has been employed as a waiter, a furniture mover, in an industrial laundry, as a farm worker in Wyoming, and as a janitor (in a San Francisco rock'n'roll studio). Returned to New York, he was an assistant editor for an art magazine, a type shop messenger, and then proofreader-dispatcher in the same shop, followed by a number of years in the alternative economy. There followed a period of language-journalism- political history studies in Thailand. After fulfilling prerequisites he earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Columbia University and licensure as a Registered Nurse in 1994. From 1994 to 2003 he was a visiting nurse in the maternal-pediatric HIV/AIDS homecare program of St. Mary's Hospital for Children. In 2003 he moved to the HIV/AIDS clinic at Kings County Hospital Center in East Flatbush, which provided pediatric, maternal, adolescent, young adult, and gestational treatment services. He played a prominent role in the prevention of mother-to-newborn transmission of HIV in 325 out of 325 cases before his retirement in 2011. He has published sixteen collections of writing, including A TORCH FOR ORPHANS (Cuneiform Press, 2020), THE CITY KEEPTS: SELECTED AND NEW POEMS 1966-2014 (Wave Books, 2016), and others. Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA