Gneiss Press

Books that make the mountains tremble!

John C. Goodman

John C. Goodman is a Canadian writer and Pushcart Prize nominee. He has published three books of poetry, naked beauty (Blue & Yellow Dog Press) and The Shepherd's Elegy (The Knives Forks & Spoons Press) and Dark Age (Grey Borders), as well as a novella, The Duck Lake Chronicles (Quattro Books). His novel, Talking to Wendigo (Turnstone Press) was short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award. He is also the author of the non-fiction work Poetry: Tools & Techniques (Gneiss Press). His short fiction, poems and essays have appeared in The Fiddlehead; Otoliths; experiment-o; BlazeVOX; Istanbul Literary Review; Urban Graffiti; Journal of the T.S. Eliot Society and numerous other magazines. Work is included in the print anthologies Gulch (Tightrope Books), Abandon (edits all over press), Maintenant 3 (Three Rooms Press, NY) and Road Work Ahead (Asphalt Tree Press). John is the past editor of ditch, an online poetry magazine.

The Shepherd's Elegy

The Shepherd's Elegy

by John C. Goodman

Available from:
The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, Newton-le-Willows, UK

ISBN 978-1-907812-48-4 £5.00


It moved me and left me feeling mystical, as when one encounters a book of poems one felt one knew could exist, and maybe even write, but is stunned when actually reading it and now believes that a poet who writes such a book must be a kinda wizard with words and have a vibrant intellect and lived quite delibrately in order to write such a powerful tome.

 -  Raymond Farr, author of ECSTATIC/.of facts (Otoliths)


John C. a master craftsman of the written word. He sort of makes his poems with the same care as Thomas Hardy I’d say, but in a Postmodern sense. The great Canadian poets seem to be in the shadows. John C. Goodman is brilliant.

 - Alec Newman, author of Saints & Sinners; Y Chromosomes (with Ryan Ormonde); Earthworks (with Stacey Dunkinson)

Naked Beauty

naked beauty

by John C. Goodman

available from Blue & Yellow Dog Press $12.00 (US)

Read an excerpt at ditch, - click here



John C. Goodman navigates us though the real, the subconscious and the abstract like a seasoned ship’s Captain...pushing us overboard (“there always seems to be a further place to fall”) then fishing us back up (“in a baptism of beginning”) to continue on this disturbing yet enlightening voyage toward the “wreckage of the future”.

- Frances Ward, editor of HammeredOut and Asphalt Tree Press


Too many poetry collections fail to deliver on the promise of thematic cohesion, but John Goodman's "Naked Beauty" is a coherent sequence of poems that look every bit as beautiful as they sound. For Goodman, it seems the world of consciousness is far too small, too myopic a poetic lens; instead, he turns his lines on the pivot of experience, both in the broad and highly personal sense.

- Dr. Kane X. Faucher, Assistant Professor - Media, Information and Technoculture (MIT), Faculty of Information and Media Studies, The University of Western Ontario. Associate Editor: The Semiotic Review of Books, The Poster: Journal of Visual Rhetoric in the Public Sphere, Semiophagy: Journal of Pataphysics and Existential Semiotics, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Autopsia


John C. Goodman finds his poems in the quotidian objects, people and experiences of modern life. His poems capture the oscillating perspective of the poet's shifting italicized "I" - the transient flux of the experienced poet's identity - in which his "stream of experience" finds the extraordinary in the mundane, music amid the white noise of traffic, and beauty in the modern urban metropolis.

- Mark McCawley, Fresh Raw Cuts, Urban Graffiti, Greensleeve Editions


In John C. Goodman's oscillating, never still anti-tableau of shifting visions "horizons unfold/like paper birds." Constantly observant among glints of experience and language inserted into and evolving out of the italicized "I" of these poems, it seems the transient focus of "naked beauty" exists in flux (what the poet himself calls "stream of experience") even as life proceeds on a ravishing scale "looking under postage stamps." Anywhere word glitters against word, image against image, each apt metaphor more penultimate than the last. We experience the moment and move on, dazzled, exhilarated, perpetually standing at the threshold of a glad new existence. Goodman is surpassed by none when it comes to epiphanic indulgences. He succors the pathos of the "I" of the self accusatory, the joke of the self deprecating, as though life (much like these poems) was painted in swift impasto and never forgotten.

- Raymond Farr, author of ECSTATIC/.of facts (Otoliths)

Poetry: Tools & Techniques

Poetry: Tools and Techniques

A Practical Guide to Writing Engaging Poetry

by John C. Goodman


"Poetry isn't what anyone tells you it 'should' be.
Poetry is what you, as a writer, make it."

Want to improve your craft?
Then this is a good place to start.


Poems do not simply happen, they are made – Poetry: Tools & Techniques shows how to make them. In plain, straight-forward language, this practical guide introduces the devices and techniques used by successful poets.

Poetry: Tools & Techniques is a starting point for writers to find their own direction rather than a definitive textbook on how to write in the proper and approved manner.

Poetry: Tools & Techniques investigates the structure of language and how it conveys meaning – and from that shows how to create and use a poetic, a philosophy of language, to shape and inform your writing. The book encourages poets to explore the limits of language and discover how to make language speak beyond itself – to make language say what it was not designed to say, to express the inexpressible.

Poetry: Tools & Techniques provides an introduction to the basic elements of poetry – metaphor, imagery, punctuation, syntax, rhythm, etc. – the actual techniques and devices that go into making a poem, right down to the nuts and bolts structural parts of language – the conjunctions, prepositions, articles, etc. – and shows how they affect poetic language.

Whether you are a beginning poet or an experienced writer, Poetry: Tools & Techniques will help you improve your craft.

Available from Gneiss Press, (paperback & Kindle) and Kobo (ePub)

Talking to Wendigo

Talking to Wendigo
by John C. Goodman
Talking to Wendigo
Available in paperback from Turnstone Press/Ravenstone Press $12.99 (CAN)

When a local guide goes missing in the woods north of Lake Superior, William Longstaffe, a retired English professor who retreated to the isolation of his cabin in the wilderness after the death of his wife, unwillingly becomes involved in the search for the missing man - and the eventual discovery of his body. The trail soon leads to more deaths and the haunting legend of a lost gold mine.

Drawn into the mystery by Jack Crowfoot, a handyman William hired to fix up his cabin, he soon discovers there is more to Jack than meets the eye. As Jack introduces a reluctant William into the spirit world, he gradually comes to terms with his life and begins to see the possibility of a new relationship with the town cafe owner Maggie Frazer.

As Jack and William pursue clues to the murder, they meet a cast of possible suspects - local eccentric Crazy Crazy; Hollywood actor Lance Rockwell and his beautiful wife Carolyn; Andy Polsky, owner of Andy's Adrenaline Wilderness Tours; has-been movie star Tyler Westman; Harry Perkins, a vacationing stockbroker; and two geologists with something to hide. The situation soon gets out of control, until Jack and William find themselves alone in the bush with the killer - and the sinister presence of a forest spirit called Wendigo.

Essays online

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