Official Website of Author, Poet & Translator
John J. Coutts
Welcome to my website! I am a poet, performer, author and translator. I've written extensively for BBC radio and published books and articles in the fields of literature and religion. I am also Poet-in-Residence at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum here in Stirling, Scotland. 'Ths Smith has published 'Oswald the Cat's Book of Poems for Fun and Finding out' intended for children and grownups as well.
As a poet, I believe that obscurity is not profundity, and that obscenity is not originality. I write in 'traditional' metres - and many of my poems are intended for public performance as well as private reading.
My qualifications include a first class degree in English Language and Literature from Oxford University and PhD in New Testament Studies from Edinburgh University. I am also a linguist - a number of my translations from Russian have appeared in The Complete Works of Alexander Pushkin in English" - Published by Milner & Co. A new bilingual edition of Pushkin's Lyrics is now appearing, published by the Alma Press. My latest publication is 'Rap around the Gospel'- stories from the life of Jesus with rap commentary. It's available as a paper copy or a PDF and rappers are welcome to copy and adapt the scripts to suit their own talent. Email me to find out more.
POEM OF THE MONTH
SENSATION BY THE JORDAN
The Gospel according to Mark, Chapter One,. with rap commentary.
from 'RAP AROUND THE GOSPEL'
[for a PDF of the book on approval contact firstname.lastname@example.org]
[A Voice and a Rapper]
Voice: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God...
Rapper: Just hold it there – and listen to me:
We’ve got a good man in Galilee.
Some say he’s great, some think he’s odd:
But could he be the Son of God?
He tells you tales you can’t forget1
He catches sinners in a fisherman’s net.
So walk up, folks, ain’t nothing to fear,
For God is good and God’s right here!
And all you have to do is to turn right Around
And dance to the rhthym of the gospel sound.
Yes God loves you...we’d like to to know
So why be a selfish so-and-so?.
Just gather round as quick as you can.
Let’s go-go-go with the Galilee Man!
Voice What about JB?
Rapper I beg your pardon?
Voice JB comes before JC
Voice John the Baptist came first!
Rapper Right . Of course...So he did....Let’s start again...After you.
Voice The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Hold on to your seats and I’ll begin.
With a preacher dressed in camel’s skin.
Was John the Baptist meek and mild?
That man looked lean and mean and wild....
He never would bend for love or money...
He lived on prayers and desert honey....
Locusts - roasted?....maybe not.
Man - his preaching sure was hot!
And everybody knew what the prophet meant
When they heard him cry: “Repent! Repent!”.
THE VOICE At that time Jesus came from Galilee
and was baptised by John......
A BOX OF SURPRISES
"An entertainment in poetry and storytelling"
I present a flexible and engaging performance which interests both old and young - and gives the audience a chance to join in.
The "Box of Surprises" turns out to be a "Pirate's Chest" full of treasures - ordinary items with extraordinary stories.
A second theme - "True Tales of a Long Lifetime' - takes us a journey of discovery if prose and verse, mixing laughter, reflection, entertainment and insight. "
'The Box of Surprises'" was full of words of wit and wisdom - and your readings gave us rhythms and rhymes, moving us to laughter and near tears." - Liberton Kirk Guild: