John Lyons, winner of the WindRush Arts Achiever Award 2003, was born in Trinidad and educated as an artist and art educator at Goldsmiths College and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne respectively. During those years without a grant he had to work. Some of his part-time jobs included: early morning factory cleaner, evening waiter, postman, and shift-work hospital porter. John’s writing naturally grew from his addictive reading of novels and poetry at a very early age; this passion continued throughout his art education years. After he won his first Peterloo Poetry Prize he became recognized as a poet. Other major prizes followed. He published four collections and contributed to numerous anthologies; read on radio, television and in many festivals; was part-time creative writing lecturer at Bolton Institute of Higher Education; became an Arvon tutor; was co-founder and director of Hourglass Studio Gallery, promoting the visual arts and Creative writing in the Community.
“I value greatly the support Commonword gave me in the early days of my career as a poet. It represented a vibrant hub of creative writing; and has remained a beacon for developing writers”.