Portraits of Poets Series: John Godfrey

John Godfrey first read at the Poetry Project in 1969. In ’74-’75 and ’82-’83 he led workshops there. Of a dozen collections from ’71 on, five have been published in the new century: Push the Mule, Private Lemonade, City of Corners, Singles & Fives, and Tiny Gold Dress. In 1994 he took a B.S. in Nursing from Columbia University, School of Nursing. Specializing in HIV/AIDS during a 17-year career, he worked from ’94-’03 as a visiting nurse in pediatric/maternal HIV/AIDS with a caseload referred by a number of hospitals throughout the City, the patients living in North Brooklyn. From ’03 until his retirement in ’11 he was Head (and only) Nurse in a clinic at Kings County Hospital Center that treated the dwindling neonatally infected population, adolescents, young adults, and infected pregnant women. He has lived for 40 years in what once was known as “the poets’ building” on 12th St.

Photo gallery:

John Godfrey on Writing:

John Godfrey reads new poems:


Images and videos by Ted Roeder.

Ted Roeder

Ted Roeder is a photographer who does portraits of poets, artists, musicians and performers. He has been documenting the Poetry Project’s New Year’s Day Marathon Reading since 2012.