John Allen Richter

Gold Star - 7,086 Points [John Allen Richter] (1959 / Richmond, In)

Biography of John Allen Richter

Third person narratives are somewhat pretentious, I think, at least for we poets who are still living. If I would start this by claiming " John Allen Richter" was this or did that or the other - then I would feel a little silly. As Abraham Lincoln once exclaimed after viewing a photo of himself - 'So here is the creature itself! ' And so too, here am I before you - no mystique, no mystery, no great intrigue as might be conjured by a narrative from someone else. I am he, John, the simple man who has been given an insatiable desire - sporadically - to sit and write things down. You will either like them or not. But I hope that you will.

I was born in a small Indiana city of about 40,000 souls called Richmond in the late 1950s. My father was Frederick Richter - (as is my youngest son) - and my mother was Valerie - a beautiful aussie from Melbourne. Dad was stationed there during WWII and once told me that he won her in a game of cards. I always thought he was bluffing. I rarely felt he deserved the winnings of that card game. I have also been blessed with five beautiful sisters and one very admirable brother.

At 17 years and one week old I joined the United States Army. While growing up we all watched the Viet Nam war on television every night - good old Walter Cronkite and the news. There was no way that I would miss it. Unfortunately it was too late. They had already pulled our soldiers out before I enlisted. So I went to Germany for three years and found the best beer and women that I've ever tasted. And in that order.

I was married twice - once to a friend - Tawnya Jester - a match which resulted in our son James Cody. And a second time to Betsy Scott - resulting in another son - afore mentioned Fred - and daughters Sarah and Chelsea. I divorced in 2012 and am happily entanglement free at the moment.

Now for the meat and potatoes. Poetry. I write poetry because I have no choice. It wells up within me and simply must come out - as well as any other bodily function or pus-filled pimple. Poetry is just a little less messy. Edgar Allen Poe said that 'With me poetry has not been a purpose, but rather a passion.' I feel exactly the same.

I don't think my poetry is very good. I read other's poetry often - and find myself sometimes comparing it with my own. I rarely win those comparisons.

I've been writing poetry as long as I can remember. And by that I mean my earliest memories at 3 or 4 years of age. My mother used to write it down for me because at four years of age I was illiterate. She once showed some of them to my father, which quickly initiated an eye-roll. My mother always beamed about them though, as mothers will do, I suppose.

My poetry was pretty well hidden until grade 6, when a teacher - named Pamela Smith Snyder - encouraged me to pursue my writing. She introduced me to Emily Dickinson - who soon after became my soul-mate.

I'd like to thank you for visiting my page and hope that your brief stay was pleasant. And as always I will encourage you, and everyone, to be someone else's Pamela Smith Snyder. Updates


Calm struck a sound
It echoed through the hollows
and pierced the thickness of time.
It brought my heart to still
and found my very will
longing for you.

And the calm lives.
Though I do not.

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