putty ssh
writer + poet + performer


On this page you can find details of books and texts available to download for free or purchase as digital books. New material will appear here, and there will be a changing selection of short stories to download free in PDF form.

Free downloads: Sample chapter of Prostate Cancer Unplugged | Sample short story: Thanksgiving | A chapter of Primer of Found Poetry

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Prostate Cancer Unplugged

A candid look at the ups and downs of diagnosis, surgery and recovery
Published by www.johnbevis.com as a digital book, 2010, 126pp, £14.95
How to buy Prostate Cancer Unplugged as a digital book.
Click here to download a sample chapter

This book charts one man’s progress through prostate cancer, from first inklings of a problem, through diagnosis and treatment, to recovery. Along the way it gives practical advice, a comprehensive overview of prostate cancer, and insight into the prostate cancer experience from the patient’s perspective. Written in a style that is at times supportive, realistic, critical, challenging and witty, it is intended as a readable narrative that will help prepare and inform patients, carers and families. The author’s particular hope is that it may be read by a broader audience of unaffected men of a cancer-vulnerable age, and their partners, who want to find out more.

“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I knew next to nothing about the prostate or about cancer, and less still about what happened when those two unknowns coincided. I had the vaguest idea of whereabouts in my body the prostate was located, and no inkling as to its actual purpose. I knew cancer to be a potentially deadly disease, but not how or why. As to the consequences of a cancerous prostate, I did not have a clue….

Hence my ignorance when my own turn came. Finding out what I needed to know, at the time I needed to know it, was not difficult. However, what I was not prepared for was the distinction between the facts and the feelings, and the complex relationship between the two.

For a start there was the shock of having the dread word, the curse, of cancer applied to oneself. It sounds like a death sentence; it is frightening, depressing and repellent. It turns you from an autonomous being, with a pattern of life of your own, into a unit on the production line of medical treatment. You feel resentful at how your horizons have suddenly closed in. Even if you can count on the sympathy of loved ones you may still feel in part isolated, that you are the only one who truly comprehends what is happening to you….”

(Extract from the Introduction)


It is unusual to get such a frank personal account from a man about prostate cancer. (There’s loads of stuff about personal breast cancer experiences.) I think you have hit a gap in the market.

It’s a very good read. Really funny. I frequently laughed out loud. Wonderful metaphors, vivid descriptions, literary allusions. You have a good visual eye and a good ear for dialogue. The medical explanations are clear. There’s a complete lack of sentimentality and ‘touchy-feely’ talk, which is refreshing.

It should be required reading for the Trust’s chief exec, director of acute care, director of nursing, cancer lead clinician, and the urology multi-disciplinary team.

Olga Janssen, cancer patient and Chair, National User Steering Group for Peer Review of Cancer Services, on the manuscript of “Prostate Cancer Unplugged”

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Short Stories

Slip signsTaking the gloss off everyday life, these are tales of accidents, faux pas, banalities and misunderstandings, told from the viewpoint of a bemused outsider. A changing selection of short stories by John Bevis will be available as free downloads from this website.
Click here to download the short story Thanksgiving.

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A Primer of Found Poetry

Published by www.johnbevis.com as a digital book, 2010, 52pp, £7.50
How to buy a Primer of Found Poetry as a digital book.
Download a free sample of a Primer of Found Poetry

Found poetry is the art Found Poetry of creating a new poetic meaning from an existing text, by manipulation, reduction, or simply changing the context. The argument against such a practice goes: ‘What is “found” in “found poetry” is nothing more than any good reader finds in any piece of writing, and that “finding” doesn’t justify trying to claim it as original work of the finder’s own.’ On the other hand, many poets have claimed that the experience of ‘writing outside of one’s own head’ has enabled creative flash-points that could never have been otherwise achieved. Whatever one’s point of view, it is notable that found poetry has been used as a successful creative writing tool in American high schools for some years.

In this comprehensive guide, the many ingenious ways of making found poetry are described and illustrated with examples, from the humour of unintended translation errors to the cut-up techniques pioneered by the Dadaists. There is a brief historic overview, with a who’s who of some of found poetry’s illustrious practitioners.

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