Hershman John was born in California and grew up on the Navajo reservation in Sand Springs, Arizona. He earned an undergraduate degree and an MFA in creative writing from Arizona State University. John is the author of the poetry collection I Swallow Turquoise for Courage (2007). His poems have been published in journals and anthologies including Puerto del Sol, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and O Taste and See: Food Poems.
John’s poetry is influenced by his Navajo heritage. He has written of Diné creation stories, sometimes placing the figures in contemporary settings. His subjects in I Swallow Turquoise for Courage range from Navajo culture to poems referencing Vincent van Gogh and Elizabeth Bishop.
John teaches at Phoenix College in Phoenix, Arizona.