John Latham

Born near Liverpool, John Latham worked for over 40 years as a research scientist specialising in cloud formation. A recipient of several medals from the Royal Meteorological Society, he was, for eight years, president of the International Commission on Atmospheric Electricity, and founded the Atmospheric Physics Research Group at UMIST (which later became the University of Manchester’s Centre for Atmospheric Science). In 1988 he moved to the US, to become a Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.

Latham is the author of six collections of poetry, including All-Clear (Peterloo Poets, 1990) and Sailor Boy (The Collective Press, 2006), as well as short fiction, one novel – Ditch-Crawl (Comma, 2006) and several radio plays, broadcast on BBC Radio 4. His poetry has won first prize in over 20 competitions, and the title poem for his latest collection From Professor Murasaki’s Notebooks on the Effects of Lightning on the Human Body won second prize in the UK’s 2006 National Poetry Competition.



Publications by John Latham


Ditch-crawling has no rules, just aesthetic principles…John Latham’s first novel constructs an Escher-like maze of what ifs and what nows. Thronging with characters, this is a journey through the unattended subplots of our lives, the on-going narrative that subconscious itself weaves together.

From Professor Murasaki’s Notebooks on the Effects of Lightning on the Human Body

Having trained as a physicist – specialising in the science of cloud formation – and then later emerged as one of the more curious voices in British poetry, John Latham is not a writer you’re ever likely to forget.

Anthologies featuring John Latham

Hyphen: an anthology of short stories by poets

Established and award winning poets from around Britian and the UK have been asked to 'interlope' into the unknown territory of the short - most of them for the first time and each bringing with them a new, poetic perspective as well as an intuitive feel for the snapshot's hidden narratives.