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Allan Johnston

Born: in La Jolla, California
Pen Name: None

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

Biography: 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

Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction; Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

ISBN: 9781622299843 OCLC: 1028240899

Departures :
ISBN: 9781622292677 OCLC: 845055561

Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, KY. : ©2013.

Northport :
ISBN: 1599245469 OCLC: 828532722

Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, Kent. : ©2010.

  Tasks of survival :
ISBN: 0773400346 OCLC: 29467627

Mellen Poetry Press, Lewiston, N.Y. : ©1996.