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Recording of Contentious Critique of Love Triangle Sonnet Released Online

Following the publication of the National Arts Club Inquiry into the the issue of non-fiction within fiction, a critique of Elan Haverford's sonnet 'ThinkingOfYou' by the late University of Pennsylvania Professor of Literature Brian Sutton-Smith has been posted online.

In the course of his six-minute lecture, Professor Sutton-Smith offered two conclusions: that "Elan Haverford transmuted her reckless life into 'poetic gold'"; and that "'the putative novelist', John Wareham, did not pen the so-called Haverford sonnets." 

The author of the novel, John Wareham, brushed off the professor's criticism. "I regard Professor Sutton-Smith's remarks as something of joke. If he really thinks that a 'brilliant aristocratic lass' wrote these sonnets, then he's surely paying me a great compliment." 

In the sonnet itself -- 'ThinkingOfYou' -- by way of bidding a final farewell to her all-too married paramour, Elan Haverford vividly uses the name of that poem to conjure a melancholy village, which may well claim a place in the heart of every lover. . . .  Click this link now to join Professor Sutton Smith here now, and hear his actual critique in his own words, and the sonnet itself, delivered by noted stage actor, Isobel Mebus.


National Arts Club Inquiry Appended to Chancey On Top

Formal inquiry attracts ACLU acclaim, and high praise for sonnets within 'wildly entertaining literary novel'


By way of offering full transparency, a new edition of John Wareham's metafictional novel Chancey on Top appends an allegation of 'literary malfeasance.' The accusation appears in an appended transcript of a formal New York National Arts Club Inquiry into the dilemma of non-fiction within fiction.


Wareham's accuser, Professor Emeritus Brian Sutton-Smith of Penn University, attempted to argue that five sonnets vital to the novel were not written by Wareham, but were the work of an unidentified 'brilliant sensitive British aristocrat lass'. He also criticized a scene involving a sexual liaison between a protagonist and the late Princess Diana.


Professor Sutton-Smith was one of a three-person panel conducting the inquiry into Wareham's novel. Other panellists were Nadine Strossen, chief executive of the American Civil Liberties Union, who hailed the novel as 'brilliant and compelling'; and Charles DeFanti, Kean University professor of literature, who said the work was 'a superb example of Wareham's realist cinematic writing style'.

Asked to comment on the new edition, author John Wareham said, "I can't think of a higher compliment than for a critic of Professor Sutton-Smith's stature to believe that sonnets I created for a work of fiction were in fact penned by a sensitive British aristocrat. So I'm delighted to have this NAC Inquiry appended to my work, it's a perfect fit."


Listen to Haverford Sonnet and Professor Sutton-Smith's critique


To read full Transcript of National Arts Club Inquiry, click here now


To view or purchase Chancey on Top at Amazon click here now


The Lady Diana Love Sonnet was distilled by John Wareham from her infamous CNN interview with Martin Bashir. The sonnet has been widely acclaimed. Lady Diana herself may have recorded a version of it, as a video has now surfaced on the internet. The poem, first published in John Wareham's novel Chancey On Top, then included in his later bestselling anthology, Sonnets for Sinners (everything one needs to know about illicit love): click here now to view or purchase it at Amazon.com

Why Recovering Criminals Die Young

Deb Speight, John Wareham, Dwayne Speight, Joe Roberts, Kenny Johnson, and Ted Singleton at visit to the Chuang Yen Monastery, Kent, New York

How to arrest the syndrome that kills them, transcend racism, and reduce crime

Excerpted from presentation to gang member meeting by John Wareham 

 That's me, second from the left in the photo. The friends around me are former inmate graduates of the Eagles development class that I created and shared with denizens of New York's Rikers Island Correctional Facility. The snap was taken at a weekend refresher retreat after they got out of Rikers. I keep a blow-up of it on my office wall. Whenever I look at it, I remind myself that:-

  • I'm the 'last man standing.' That's right. Everyone else in that photo is dead. And they all passed way, way too soon. Ted, expired homeless in his early 40's, Kenny was felled by a heart attack at 49, Joe died of pleurisy at 52, Deb and Dwayne fell to Covid at 60.
  • Their lives were transformed, as was mine, by the 13-Week class we shared in a basement Rikers cell. After their release, I was able to secure well-paid, full-time careers for Kenny and Joe teaching Eagles principles to Rikers inmates. Dwayne, with no special help from me other than his bus fare, became a lifelong, honoured drug counsellor down in Atlanta. And Ted, our 'gentle giant', became a security guard.

 The Eagles Foundation is strictly secular, but the famed Buddhist monastery was close by, so it seemed well worth a visit. More so than I imagined. Three lessons became burned into my brain:-

  • Getting by is never easy if you hail from 'the wrong side of town.' Institutional bias is real and bad policing crushes good people and weakens hearts. All too often, the added stress of having to put bread on the table results in crime. So, even though they'd turned their lives around, these great friends of mine were infinitely more likely to wind up dead than I was.
  • Most so-called correction systems merely compound the issue. Harsh sentences and conditions further mar mental and physical health. And most of the time, in most countries, retribution trumps rehabilitation. My take, even in New Zealand, is that we're mostly reliving dark times when being of a so-called 'different race' was the imagined cause of crime, and a blend of nine parts punishment and one part parsimony was the imagined cure.
  • Death may claim life, but consciousness can live on. Indeed, this happened. The voices, experience, lessons learned, and advice--the font and the fruit of consciousness--of these fellows in the photo is alive and well in our Pulitzer Prize nominated Eagles podcast series, The Breakout Plan. Right there, right now, is your chance to hear how the living words of Dwayne, Joe, and Kenny are helping lost citizens and creating a better world for every last one of us.

For prisoner development programs, issues of racism and institutional bias are hot topics best left to smoulder. But no matter: during our sessions on Rikers Island, we dived into that red-hot heat. The outcome astonished officialdom. To know exactly what went down, let's click to the link and go to the videotape ...

How to Transcend Racism:  John Wareham Master Class 8-minute YouTube Video


Breakout Plan Nominated for Pulitzer Prize for Audio Journalism

Listeners Worldwide in 400+ cities

In The Breakout Plan podcast series, host John Wareham and a team of graduates of his maximum security prison classes share a unique, street-smart insights into why we get trapped in the 'wrong life', then a 'proven, practical, doable, achieveable formula for creating the life we truly want.'   

  • "If ever there was a master key to the mental penitentiary, this is it. Wareham shares a riveting journey into the heart and soul, and presents a profound and creative thesis for transforming a specious sense of personal autonomy into a pure sense of freedom."—Jess D. Maghan, professor emeritus of criminal justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, former director of training New York City Police and Corrections Departments

 Go to The Breakout Plan Podcast Series; Click Here Now

How to Win the War On Gangs

Prison reformer meets with 'Kingdom of Mongrel Mob' gang and urges them to identify as global citizens 

 Mongrel Mob Kingdom Headquarters, Hamilton, New Zealand, March, 2022


 At a meeting in Mongrel Mob Kingdom headquarters, Eagles chair John Wareham urged gang leaders to disregard 'race-based' labels, and accept the simple fact that first and foremost they are as global citizens.

"Whether we know it or not, or like it or not, we are all members of the same tribe. Above all else, we are all homo sapiens and as such all equal global citizens. Our cultural inheritance, often miscalled 'race', comes second."

"This concept, global citizenship, is the heart and soul of 'cosmopolitanism', said Wareham, acknowledging the term coined by renowned, Ghanaian raised, Cambridge educated, Princeton professor Anthony Appiah. "And, the truth that we are part of one global tribe is firmly based in recent research showing that humans all share the same genetic makeup."


In the course of his talk Wareham also:

  • likened current Mongrel Mob members to Rotarians, noting that members of both groups wear insignia proudly, and join for kinship, community service, and economic advancement;
  • shared the pervasive race-based fallacies that cause prison programs to fail;
  • noted that current prison policies have created a situation whereby 'inmate counselors are dedicated criminals who specialize in teaching crooked behavior.
  • invited Mongrel Mob members to help advocate a 10-point proposal for prison-reform;
  • credited cosmopolitanism for a dramatic decline in recidivism rates among the graduates of his maximum-security New York Eagles prison rehabilitation program.

"Armed with a new perspective on the syndrome of serial incarceration, upon release Eagles graduate sidestepped social quicksands and went on to become productive citizens. To be fair, cosmopolitanism has also currently swept most of the free world. New Zealand is in catch-up mode," he said, "but as officialdom becomes wiser, race-based labels will become an entirely unacceptable relic of past colonial history."


Read Full Transcript of John Wareham advice to Mongrel Mob, here now

Review by Lorraine Steele, Flatiron Press

'A Wicked Evening of Illicit Love', the stage adaptation of John Wareham's anthology of 'Sonnets for Sinners', closed with a bang not a whimper.

Top actors delivering sonnets from classic and modern poets, and contemporary celebrities, drew gasps, sighs and outright hilarity, as the production made good on its promise of 'a night of love, laughter and enlightenment'. Passion, poetry and epiphany indeed played out as a literary voyage chronicled sinners' journeys from attraction and fever, to heartbreak, understanding and transformation.

Their public utterances having been artfully distilled into sonnets by playwright John Wareham, a galaxy of contemporary celebrity sinners came to life on stage and to engage with the likes of William Shakespeare and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Warm applause again punctuated the #metoo line within a Monica Lewinsky sonnet, splendidly delivered by Gail Huff-Brown, wife of American Ambassor Scott Brown.

Enlightenment came in a cluster of memorable closings, with the poignant 'Princess Diana Love Sonnet', and 'In my dream inner spring came rising' by Elan Haverford.
The audience included chief of the Shakespeare Globe Centre Dawn Sanders, eminent playwright Dave Armstrong, and noted Kiwi actor Nick Blake who flew in from Bangkok to catch the show.