Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson has published seven books of prose poems, six novels, two collections of short stories, a book of essays on the prose poem, and three anthologies of prose poetry. His poetry and fiction have received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Rhode Island Council on the Arts, and his second book of prose poems was awarded the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. His most recent book is While the Undertaker Sleeps: Collected and New Prose Poems. More information can be found at and on his Substack site at

  • The Literary Fragment, Black Humor, and the Ampersand: Three Short Essays by Peter Johnson

    I want to talk about the “literary fragment.”
    Plume Issue #154 June 2024
  • Peter Johnson, Excerpts from Observations from the Edge of the Abyss

    In 1999, the eccentric Knott sent me thoughtfully inscribed cheap, staple-bound pamphlets of his poems, sometimes quoting from my own prose poems in the inscriptions.
  • “Truscon, A Division of Republic Steel, 1969-70: A Prose-Poem Sequence Disguised as a Lyrical Essay, Itself Aspiring to Be a Fictional Memoir” by Peter Johnson

    Peter Johnson’s essay, “Truscon, A Division of Republic Steel, 1969-70: A Prose Poem Sequence Disguised as a Lyrical Essay, Itself…

    Issue #123 November 2021
  • Vaccination, in the Broadest Sense of the Term, Crickets and Lucky Strike Lanes

    Just as the pharmacist drove the vaccine into my arm
  • The Edson Letters by Peter Johnson

    As Russell Edson’s close friend and faithful correspondent during the last twenty five years of his life, Peter Johnson initiated…

    Issue #111 November 2020
  • My Friend, Nice Socks & The Last Dance

    My friend wanted to have breakfast at the local strip club.
  • A Nun to be Named

    I’ve been thinking about the nun who wouldn’t let me pee in fifth grade.
  • “The Prose Poem and the Problem of Genre”

    When it comes to deciding on whether a work of short prose is a prose poem, a flash fiction,
    Issue #94 June 2019