Johnson, Dennis Loy 1957-

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Johnson, Dennis Loy 1957-


Born 1957; married Valerie Merians (a poet, visual artist, and publisher). Education: University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, M.F.A.


Home—Hoboken, NJ. Office—Melville House Publishing, 300 Observer Hwy., 3rd Fl., Hoboken, NJ 07030.


Melville House Publishing, Hoboken, NJ, cofounder and copublisher, 2002—; Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, professor of English; has also taught at Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, University of Iowa, Iowa City, and the University of Pittsburgh.


Pushcart Prize; fellow, National Endowment for the Arts.


(Editor, with wife, Valerie Merians) Poetry after 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets, Melville House Publishing (Hoboken, NJ), 2002.

The Big Chill: The Great, Unreported Story of the Bush Inauguration Protest, Melville House Publishing (Hoboken, NJ), 2004.

(Editor, with Valerie Merians) What We Do Now, Melville House Publishing (Hoboken, NJ), 2004.

Work represented in anthologies, including New Stories from the South. Editor and publisher of the weekly column "Moby Lives," originally syndicated to newspapers, then published as an Internet column, beginning 2001. Contributor of short stories, articles, essays, and reviews to periodicals, including Georgia Review, Idler, New England Review, Ploughshares, Populist,, Story, USA Today, and Weekly Planet Online.


Dennis Loy Johnson has had a varied career as a writer of fiction and as a nonfiction editor and publisher. He founded Melville House Publishing partly as way to get an anthology of poetry published quickly. The anthology, Poetry after 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets, which Johnson edited with Valerie Merians, features a variety of poems focusing on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the grief associated with the aftermath. Included are poems from award-winning writers such as Jean Valentine, Alicia Ostriker, and Rachel Hadas. The anthology also includes less-famous poets. Commenting on the poems as a whole in a review in the Library Journal, Barbara Hoffert observed that "overall the effect is one of meditation and of slowly gathering one's forces to conquer fear." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the poets "eloquently" present their thoughts on the tragedy.

Johnson is also author of The Big Chill: The Great, Unreported Story of the Bush Inauguration Protest. Here, Johnson provides a first-person account of a large protest on the second inauguration of President George W. Bush, which included a strong police and military presence and bursts of violence that largely went unreported by the national press. Danny Schechter, writing on the Web site, called The Big Chill "a must-read little book."



Library Journal, September 15, 2002, Barbara Hoffert, review of Poetry after 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets, p. 67.

Village Voice, September 28, 2004, Howard Hampton, review of The Big Chill: The Great, Unreported Story of the Bush Inauguration Protest.

Publishers Weekly, August 26, 2002, review of Poetry after 9/11, p. 53.


Beatrice, (October 29, 2004), interview with Dennis Loy Johnson.

Bookslut, (Aril 18, 2007), Jessa Crispin, "An Interview with Dennis Loy Johnson."

Brooklyn Rail, (April 18, 2007), Kate Trainor, "Thar She Blows: Dennis Loy Johnson and Valerie Merians.", (January 17, 2005), Danny Schechter, "Will the Anti-Inaugural Protests Be Covered?," includes brief discussion of The Big Chill., (May 27, 2003), profile of Dennis Loy Johnson.

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Johnson, Dennis Loy 1957-

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