The Writers of Wales Database
John Latham was born in 1937 in rural Cheshire and into a working–class family. He says, of his academic career, that he only just managed to scrape into London University to do a BSc in Physics. Despite this so called scrape, he then went on to complete a PhD in Atmospheric Physics and taught and conducted research in physics at Manchester University, eventually acquiring a professorship.
John took early retirement from that post in 1988, partly to have more time to write (poetry, prose and plays) which he had taken up with a passion in mid–life. He has won First-Prize in twenty national poetry competitions and has had many poems broadcast on British radio and television. About ten of his stories have been broadcast on BBC national radio, he has won prizes in several UK story competitions and had several stories anthologized. His has written one novel Ditch-Crawl (Comma Press, 2004) and a number of plays which were broadcast on BBC Radio 4 during the late 1980s and early 1990s (Heavy Roller, 1988, The Spinning Room of Drunken Lovers, 1991 and The Hanging of Ernest Moon, 1993). John also had a short stage-play produced at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester: Pace-maker in 1989.
He has been tutor to the Arvon Foundation (England), tutor to the Taliesin Trust (Wales), Hawthornden Fellow, 1990 (Scotland) and Writer-in-Residence at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, 1992. Through the support of the Arts Council of Wales, his most recent collection of poetry Sailor Boy (Collective Press, 2006) has received much international acclaim.
John still apportions time fairly evenly between freelance scientific research (on global warming and lightning) and writing. He travels and lectures internationally and is actively involved in research to combat the effects of climate change. Due to this lifestyle he currently lives much of the time travelling between the USA and Europe. While in the States he lives in the Colorado Rockies, although as often as possible and when his busy schedule permits he lives in Waunfawr, Snowdonia where he has had a home since the sixties and where he says the mountains are even more beautiful than in Colorado.
Unpacking Mr Jones (Peterloo Poets, 1982)
From the Other Side of the Street (Peterloo Poets, 1985)
All-Clear (Peterloo Poets, 1991)
The Unbearable Weight of Mercury (Peterloo Poets, 1996)
Ditch-Crawl (Comma Press, 2004)
Sailor Boy (The Collective Press, 2006)