Devin Johnston

b. 1970
Devin Johnston

Born in Canton, New York, Devin Johnston grew up in Winston-Salem and received his PhD from the University of Chicago.

Johnston is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sources (2008), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Aversions (2004) and Telepathy (2001). His prose writing includes the critical study Precipitations: Contemporary American Poetry as Occult Practice (2002) and Creaturely and Other Essays (2009). A former poetry editor for the Chicago Review from 1995-2000, Johnston co-founded, and co-edits, Flood Editions with Michael O’Leary.

A lyric poet influenced by Yeats, Johnston whittles the lines of his poems, compressing imagery that is at once allusive and immediate. “While his lexicon is rich and particular, Johnston's line is severe, unadorned, and keenly cut to measure out the subtle, counter-pointed music which so strongly marks these poems,” observes poet Forrest Gander of the poems in Telepathy.

He lives in St. Louis and teaches at Saint Louis University.

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Audio & Podcasts

The Poetry Magazine Podcast
  • Listen Just Now Between Positions
    Poems from Adam Vines, Judith Hall, Kimiko Hahn, and Devin Johnston, plus Maureen McLane on Marianne Moore.
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Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

LIFE SPAN 1970–

Devin Johnston

Biography

Born in Canton, New York, Devin Johnston grew up in Winston-Salem and received his PhD from the University of Chicago.

Johnston is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sources (2008), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Aversions (2004) and Telepathy (2001). His prose writing includes the critical study Precipitations: Contemporary American Poetry as Occult Practice (2002) and Creaturely and . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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