After eight years in the San Francisco Bay Area (during which time he earned an M.A. in literature from San Francisco State University), a once-stable first marriage, a divorce that began genially enough, and an ill-advised stint in Reno, Nevada, he once again relocated to Southern California, with his lovely and talented wife, an out-of-date comics collection, and jobs teaching English at a couple of Orange County colleges.
Since Buckley restarted writing in the spring of 2009, after a creative dry spell of almost two decades, his poems have been accepted for publication in over 150 periodicals and anthologies. In addition to writing individual works, he is engaged in an ongoing game of poetic volleyball with established Los Angeles writer Martin Ott (Interrogator’s Notebook, Captive).
Buckley's inaugural chapbook, Breach Birth, was published by Propaganda Press in March 2011. Propaganda Press also published his second chapbook, Leading an Aquamarine Shoat by Its Tail. His full-length solo collection, Sky Sandwiches, appeared on Anaphora Literary Press in August 2012. His first volume of collaborations with Martin Ott, Poets' Guide to America, came out on Brooklyn Arts Press in November 2012.
In Fall 2012, Buckley moved back to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend the University of Michigan as an MFA student in poetry.
Poets’ Guide to America maps the cultural landscape of the fifty US states and more in the adventuresome and humorous collaborative poetic debuts of John F. Buckley and Martin Ott.
Here there be krakens, zeppelins, topiary dragons, leather stockings, anthems, matchlocks, SEALs, Vikings, mancaves, lunar fontanels, kick- & dodgeball, a Chevette, Circe, a prosthetic chin, antebellum atria, zombie politicians, chemical runoff, brown-bag lunches, gangsters, chicken sex, merwolverines, Cthulhoid dill pickles, curdled poutine, buffalo nickels, Styrofoam, tallowed fries, hamster coffins, astonishing acts, nipples, riots, Versace graffiti, spasms, Jell-O shots, M-16 carbines, the musical head of Walt Disney, Benzedrine, gold lamé briefs, a cyborg centaur, ululating hounds, anthropomorphized cities, a Boeing ergonomist, tramp stamps, stroked foreheads, wyrms, badgers, crocodile tears, a Hail Mary, moustaches, armadillos, Zion National Park, rhythmic gymnastics, lepidopteran robots, reluctant heroines, Bud Selig, Ducatis, duende, Keebler Elves, inmate foodies, biometric scans, cross-species embryos, mummified Anasazis, magma pools, ukuleles, grizzlies, loiny carpaccio, pentagonal marmalade skies, & much, much more…
The forty-eight poems in Sky Sandwiches echo John F.
Buckley’s wry, paradoxical perspective, a point of view evoking both the
transcendent and the quotidian, fusing a sky associated with religion and
higher yearnings with the sandwiches of simpler sustenance. In these poems as
in this world, people fly like crooked arrows, seeking targets both above and
below. The collection describes how our desires lead us to absurd hopes and
stale resignations, humble dreams and sublime despairs. It recounts the ways we
may seek both eternal salvation and a half-decent Italian sub. Parts are
tender. Parts are funny. Parts will get stuck in your braces.