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Denis Johnson


Denis Johnson was born in Munich, West Germany in 1949. His father worked for the United States Information Agency, so Johnson lived in various foreign cities till his mid-teens. He attended the University of Iowa and took a B.A. in English. While there, his first book of poetry was published. He then took an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop. After teaching for a while, he quit teaching and worked at various odd jobs. After taking time off to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, he went to teach in a prison in Phoenix. When awarded a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center, in Provincetown, he worked on his third book of poetry and then stayed in the area and published his early novels. He has travelled around, writing travel journalism articles from various exotic locations. As well as his poetry and novels, he is also a playwright. His novels are generally bleak, probably based on his own life of addiction. He died in 2017.

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Denis Johnson
Denis Johnson
Denis Johnson
Denis Johnson
Homeless and High (article by Johnson)


1969 The Man Amongst the Seals (poetry)
1976 Inner Weather (poetry)
1982 The Incognito Lounge and Other Poems (poetry)
1983 Angels (novel)
1985 Fiskadoro (novel)
1986 The Stars at Noon (novel)
1987 The Veil (poetry)
1991 Resuscitation of a Hanged Man (novel)
1992 Jesus’ Son (stories)
1995 The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nation’s Millennium General Assembly: Poems, Collected and New (poetry)
1998 Already Dead: A California Gothic (novel)
2000 The Name of the World (novella)
2001 Seek: Reports from the Edges of America & Beyond
2002 Train Dreams (novella)
2002 Shoppers: Two Plays
2007 Tree of Smoke (novel)
2009 Nobody Move (novel)
2011 Train Dreams (novella)
2012 Soul of a Whore and Purvis: Two Plays in Verse (drama)
2014 The Laughing Monsters (novel)
2017 The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories
2020 Car Crash While Hitching (story)