John D. Robinson Endorsements

These are survivor poems. Battle scarred verse that hit the soul and assault the frontal lobe. Here is a poet who has lived several lives and emerged on the other side alive and with all his mental faculties intact. The poems in this collection are at turns, emotional, touching, love lost, and heart-breaking. The adventurous reader will devour these poems with a tear in the eye and a knowing smile on the lips.

Joseph Ridgwell author of Burrito Deluxe and The Beach Poems

“John D Robinson’s stark and honest poetry pulls no punches and gives zero fucks. This impressive collection will take you on a journey through the good times and the bad, and does not gloss over or glorify anything – John simply tells it like he sees it, and that in itself is a breath of fresh air in the world of carefully curated, phoney personas that we live in today.”

Martin Appleby: Poet and Publisher: Paper and Ink Zine

I have been reading the poems of John D. Robinson in chapbooks, broadsides and magazines for a while now and I’ve alway’s been impressed by the honesty and truth within them. Robinson pulls no punches – he documents life in all its beauty and terror. If it’s there in front of him, he records it for us all to see. It may not always be a comfortable ride, but it’s one worth taking every time. It’s really great to see that this first full length collection of poetry is now available in “Hang In There.” Whether he’s writing about women or men and the relationships – intense or passing – or the joy, pain, sex or violence that are part of their lives you know there’s no lie in the words he writes. He has a camera eye that records the larger picture but also picks out the small details. He writes of the disenchanted, the disenfranchised and the disturbed, but always with an acute sense of understanding and an ability to make the reader feel something real. Robinson is a poet who hits the mark over and over and “Hang In There” is full of shots on the bullseye. Read it. You may not always feel comfortable, but you will feel alive. So, buckle up for the ride and “Hang In There.”

Adrian Manning: Concrete Meat Press:

“John D Robinson’s newest dish “Hang in There” is spiced with dirt, powerlessness, sex, drugs, and desperation, but the major ingredient is Hope. Hope with a capital H. This is one damn delicious literary meal.”

“John D Robinson’s newest dish “Hang in There”  is spiced with dirt, powerlessness, sex, drugs, and desperation, but the major ingredient is Hope. Hope with a capital H. This is one damn delicious literary meal.”

Janne Karlsson, artist

John D Robinson came into my life about a year ago with his offer to publish a chapbook of my late husband’s poetry. I knew of him and thought it sounded like a great idea, which it was. Since then, I’ve read John’s chaps, Echoes of Diablo, Beneath A Crying Moon, Hitting Home, and his collection, Hang In There. When he asked me to consider writing a foreword to his collection, Red Dance, I felt honored and wondered what I could possibly bring to the literary understanding of his work. I don’t write poetry. I occasionally read selections of poetry from those poets with whom my husband corresponded. I suppose my only real qualification is having been married to a poet for twenty years.

With that disclaimer, I entice you, the reader, to pick up this collection with the idea of being taken on an intimate journey because to read a poet’s work is to know the poet. John infuses Red Dance with his unique look at the world, and it isn’t a sugarcoated world. He writes about mental illness, domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, love, sex, the struggle he goes through to keep on writing, and the need to be published. He knows these things from personal experience but the main thing about John D Robinson is that John doesn’t leave us feeling hopeless. That is the crux of his message – there is light shining at the end where hope and success live.

His opening poems, Don’t Forget and Tasting Rain grab us from the beginning. In Don’t Forget, he acknowledges luck and ‘premium bullshit’. In Tasting Rain, the topic is fleeing domestic violence leading to a positive outcome. Ego Clouds and Another Blank Page let us in on his unrelenting desire to write and publish, pushing us to consider our own desire to leave a mark. I was reminded of the American tragedy of 9/11 in the poem Disneyland 2001. The terrorism we are subject to in our lives makes us want to hug each other tightly, pray for the victims, mourn the dead and be grateful, this time, for our families and our own personal safety.

I encourage you to read Swimming Around as it will inspire you, and you may find the illusive muse of On Vacation familiar, no matter what you do for a living or “hobby”. By the way, writing is never a “hobby” for those who are called, so to speak, without a choice in the matter. To John, writing could never be considered a hobby. This is what makes Red Dance so impactful. This collection is personal and give hope where there is little hope left. John tells us in Footsteps, in reference to William S. Burroughs, “following footsteps can be easy creating your own isn’t. And he writes “swim against the tide, swing in the shadows”. Each of the 75 poems in this collection stands by itself but together they give a powerful message.

Thank you John, for the opportunity to invite others to your world. May you continue to drink good white wine with the cats, listen to classical music and inspire us for many, many years.

Carol Draime
Author of ‘The Bridge’