John Row was born in Barking, Essex in 1947. He spent most of his childhood in Harlow New Town. This was a time of innovation when public art was considered to be essential to the town’s development.
He spent the next decade dropping out of colleges, travelling, working in special needs hospitals, moving from the visual arts to the written word and getting married before studying American Studies as a mature student at the University of East Anglia.
During this period he teamed up with Nick Toczeck touring with Nick’s poetry and music show ‘Stereo Graffiti’.
He added storytelling to his performance activities in the late eighties while managing a bookshop at Colchester Arts Centre.
Since then he has told stories from Texas to Lapland . He has run the storytelling tent in the Kidz Field at Glastonbury Festival for ten years and is a permanent feature of Cambridge Folk Festival. He was the first ‘Storyteller in Residence’ in a British prison and was ‘Writer in Residence’ at ‘H.M.P. Highpoint’ from 2004-2008. Currently he is writer in residence at HMP Blundeston.
He is co founder with singer, songwriter Paddy Stratton of ‘Serious Times’ a poetry and music outfit, as well as continuing to tour festivals, schools and beaches and playing at being a grandfather.
In the last two years he has visited Vienna working with 3-8 year olds using storytelling in the teaching of English as an additional language, Malaysia, performing at international schools, Finnish Lapland, telling stories to tourists and Texas appearing at schools and festivals.
He has run annual seminars to visiting foriegn teachers on the use of storytelling in the teaching of English as an additional language at U.E.A. for fifteen years.
Caboodle Press published a collection of stories from around the world ‘Out Of The Hat’ in 2010