After studying literature and physics in college, John spent a year in England as a Watson Fellow, studying the work of American expatriate writers. He returned to the United States to pursue a PhD in literature at Rutgers University, culminating in a dissertation on the intersections of literature and science. He also spent a year at Boston University as the Starbuck Fellow in Poetry and a year in Jordan tutoring the children of King Hussein and Queen Noor before returning once again to the United States to teach science, math, history, and literature. He has now been working as an educational consultant in the Boston area for over 25 years.

During this time, John has also written and published poetry as well as scholarly studies of literature and science. He has written essays and reviews for Social Text, Isis, Poetry International, as well as anthologies devoted to Nuclear Studies. He is also the author of a critical biography of Robert Lowell published as part of Scribner’s American Writers series.

John’s poetry has appeared in Poetry, Raritan, Slate, The Paris Review, Poetry Daily, The Hudson Review, and The New Republic, among numerous other journals and anthologies. The Invisible World, a book of poems set in Jordan, won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. John has also won a New Millennium Award and two fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. His most recent project, Critical Assembly, a collection of poems in the voices of the men and women involved in the Manhattan Project, is forthcoming in 2017. A selection of poems from this manuscript was produced as a one act play by Derek Walcott at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Poet and critic X.J. Kennedy has called Critical Assembly, "A unified series of poems that may well stand among the greatest works of poetry in this twenty-first century."


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