One of my favourite things I’ve written was for the Wellcome Trust’s magazine Mosaic. It’s about being homesick in the twenty-first century. You can have a look at it here.
I have written three books, Radio Head and The Newsagent’s Window, both published by Simon&Schuster and Don’t Need The Sunshine, published by the AA. Radio Head was broadcast as Radio 4′s Book of the Week.
‘Captivating’ –The Guardian
‘Funny, perceptive and charming’ – The Daily Telegraph
‘A warm, uplifting read. It made me go out and buy a new radio, too,’ – Tim Key.
I did my first poetry gig in Olives Cafe in Norwich in 2006. Since then I have performed at festivals including Latitude, Port Eliot, Bestival, Green Man, Laugharne and the Edinburgh fringe. I’ve performed alongside acts including Phill Jupitus and Arthur Smith and performed as a support act for John Cooper Clarke and John Hegley.
I have published two poetry pamphlets, both with Nasty Little Press: What if men burst in wearing balaclavas? and The New Blur Album. My first full collection is called Most people aren’t that happy, anyway.
Alongside fellow Aisle16 poets Luke Wright, Ross Sutherland, Joe Dunthorne, Chris Hicks and Tim Clare I run Homework; a monthly night of literary miscellany at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.
Here are some reviews for my poetry:
‘A poetic Nick Hornby for the next generation.’ – Sphinx Magazine.
‘John writes with the intelligence and wit of your favourite teacher but with the soul of a five-year-old boy. His poems capture the ‘un-finger-put-on-able’ moments.’ – Laura Dockrill.
‘His work has a winning gentleness, a seductive voice that draws you in, ensnares you and captivates you.’ – Ian McMillan.
‘John Osborne’s work is wildly imaginative, big-hearted and refreshingly life-affirming. Even at its darkest and most surreal there’s a joy in language, ideas and, ultimately, people that leaves you feeling like looking outwards again. Work that makes you happy in at least eight different ways.’ – Luke Kennard
I’ve appeared as a guest on radio shows including Jeremy Vine on Radio 2, with Stuart Maconie, Steve Lamacq and Shaun Keaveny on 6Music, Arthur Smith on Radio 4 Extra, Nikki Bedi on the BBC Asian Network, Fred MacAuley on BBC Scotland, Geoff Lloyd on Absolute Radio and Richard Bacon on Five Live.
I have written three half hour stories for Radio 4. John Peel’s Shed, The Newsagent’s Window and Valentine’s Day (starring Isy Suttie, Ann Beach and Suki Webster).
My first book Radio Head was broadcast as Radio 4’s Book Of The Week in 2009.
Along with fellow writer and performer Tim Clare I present a show every week on Future Radio, a very cool community radio station in Norwich. We mainly play Super Furry Animals and talk about the weather. You can download podcasts of previous shows, including episodes where we interview Tim Key and Jon Ronson, here.
In 2008 I wrote and performed in The Mid 90s La la la, ‘Britpop, Blair and Barrymore.’ This is a show I wrote with comedian Patrick Lappin, which enjoyed a full run at the Edinburgh fringe. Attracting audiences ranging from zero to quite a lot, and sharing a double bed for the whole month in Paddy’s aunty’s spare room, this achieved the dizzying heights of getting 4/10 on someone’s blog: ‘Not bad for a free show, I suppose.’
Two years later Paddy and I went back to Edinburgh, this time with Yanny Mac, original member of poetry collective Aisle16. This was an idea we had on New Year’s Eve in a British Legion in Beccles, and somehow we managed to follow through with these drunken plans. This show was called The 100 Greatest Beekeepers in Switzerland, Ever. Again this was poetry, comedy, ramshackle fun and hopefully there will be opportunities to do more of the same in the future.
In 2003 I lived in Hannover, Germany, teaching English in a secondary school. In 2005 I taught in several primary and secondary schools around Vienna when I lived there for a year after graduating from university. I regularly teach a radio workshop to radio production students at universities including Westminster, City of Birmingham and Chelthenham about the importance of radio. I’ve taught poetry and creative writing workshops and given talks at schools and writing groups across the UK including Arvon, and in the last couple of years I have taught poetry at London’s Southbank Centre.
The Poetry Takeaway
I am one of a few poets who work with the Poetry Takeaway, a converted burger van that turns up at festivals and literary events to write bespoke poems for queuing customers. It’s a hugely enjoyable thing to be part of and one I take a lot of pride in.
For more information about the radio workshop, or teaching poetry or creative writing, contact John@aisle16.co.uk.