Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Allan Johnston  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: in La Jolla, California

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Illinois Connection

Johnston lives in Evanston, Illinois and currently teaches writing and literature at DePaul University and Columbia College - both in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Johnston has worked as a forest fire fighter, cook, musician, photographer, shake splitter, and roofer, among other occupations. He did his undergraduate studies in English at California State University, Northridge, and holds a Master's in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in American Literature, both from the University of California, Davis. Johnston has also done extensive course work in Education. He now teaches writing and literature in Chicago at DePaul University and Columbia College. He has been teaching at Columbia since 1998.

As a poet, one of Johnston's passions has been to record impressions of wild areas such as the woods of eastern Washington and the Sierra Nevada. These efforts have resulted in three sequences: Northport,published by Finishing Line Press in 2010; Return, an eleven-poem sequence detailing a journey from Phoenix, Arizona, to Desolation Wilderness, and Range of Light. Poems from these sequences have appeared in Rhino, Weber Studies, Softblow, Jabberwock Review, Quarterly Review of Literature-Singapore, Poetry Midwest, and Art and Academe.

Johnston has received a fellowship in poetry from the Illinois Arts Council, and has had work appear in Poetry, Poetry East, Midwest Quarterly, California Quarterly, and over fifty other journals. Besides writing poetry, Dr. Johnston writes about the relations between poetry and environmentalism, including studies of Robinson Jeffers, Kenneth Rexroth, and Gary Snyder that have appeared in ISLE, AUMLA, and the book Writing as Enlightenment, a volume on Buddhism in American culture from SUNY Press. His long poem Sable, on the life of Phillis Wheatley, told in her voice, was published in the Seattle Review.

Johnston has published several scholarly articles in the areas of literary criticism and educational theory. He has served as president, vice president, and secretary of the Society for Philosophical Study of Education, and works on the editorial board of the online journal SPSE Roundtable. He is also co-editor of the Journal for the Philosophical Study of Education (JPSE). He serves as a reader of poetry for Word River and as a judge for the Illinois Center for the Book's Illinois Emerging Writers Competition - Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.


Finalist Fellowship,Illinois Arts Council, 1999

Nominee, Pushcart Prize, 2009

First Prize, Outrider Press Literary Anthology Poetry Contest, 2010

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Selected Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 9781622299843. OCLC Number: 1028240899

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Departures :
ISBN: 9781622292677. OCLC Number: 845055561

Finishing Line Press,. .

Northport :
ISBN: 1599245469. OCLC Number: 828532722

Finishing Line Press,. .

Tasks of survival :
ISBN: 0773400346. OCLC Number: 29467627

Mellen Poetry Press,. .