John Foulcher graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Diploma of Education. He has been a teacher in NSW and the ACT.
His work has been widely anthologised and published in national newspapers and journals including The Age, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin, Quadrant, Heat, Poetry Australia and Meanjin.
His poetry is described by the Oxford Companion to Australian Literature as ‘simple, direct and convincing’. The poet and critic, Geoff Page, however, in A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Australian Poetry, warns against an overly simplistic view of Foulcher’s work: ‘It is tempting to classify John Foulcher as an imagist . . . When reading Foulcher’s work as a whole, however, it is soon apparent that his range is considerably broader than the imagist tag will allow.’ Robert Gray adds: ‘His theme . . . is a sceptical faith, complemented by the uneasiness of domesticity. It is the heroism of the modern, isolated individual – the man or woman who remembers to put out the garbage bin for fifty years . . . who stands on the nature strip and looks at the unbelievably violent furnaces that are the stars . . . and asks what place there is for the transcendent impulses that arise within us.’ (Poets and Perspectives: John Foulcher). Jeffrey Poacher concludes: ‘Foulcher’s work can be read as a determined effort to recover for poetry the inclusiveness that is now often associated with other art forms like fiction or cinema.’ (Australian Literary Studies Vol 19: John Foulcher’s Democracy).
From 1986 to 1994 his poetry was set for study on the NSW Higher School Certificate syllabus. He has been the poetry editor of both The Canberra Times and the Voices, the magazine of the National Library.
John’s first poetry book Light Pressure was published by Les Murray in 1983 as part of the legendary Angus & Robertson poetry series. We were proud to republish it in a new edition in 2012. It was followed by Pictures from the War (1987), Paper Weight (1991), New and Selected Poems (1993), The Honeymoon Snaps (1996), Convertible (2000), The Learning Curve (2002) and What on Earth Possessed You (2008)
In 2010, he was awarded a writer in residency in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts by the Literature Board of the Australia Council. His 2012 volume of poems, The Sunset Assumption, is a response to that experience and was his first collection with PSP, followed by 101 Poems (2015), A Casual Penance (2017) and Dancing with Stephen Hawking (2021).
He lives with his wife Jane in Canberra.
Website: Wikipedia entry | AustLit entry