John Hoppenthaler

John Hoppenthaler’s books of poetry are Lives of Water (2003), Anticipate the Coming Reservoir (2008), and Domestic Garden (2015, winner of the Brockman-Campbell Award for the best volume of poetry published by an NC writer in 2015, chosen by Barbara Hamby), all with Carnegie Mellon University Press. With Kazim Ali, he has co-edited a volume of essays and interviews on the poetry of Jean Valentine, This-World Company (U Michigan P, 2012).

His poetry appears in Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, Southern Review, Barrow Street, Laurel Review, West Branch, The Literary Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Copper Nickel, Subtropics, Southern Humanities Review, Pleiades, Waccamaw, Blackbird, The Diagram, the anthologies A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (U of Akron P, 2012), The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013), Blooming through the Ashes: An International Anthology on Violence and the Human Spirit (Rutgers UP, 2008), Making Poems: 40 Poems with Commentary by the Poets (State U of New York P, 2010), Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina (U of North Carolina P, 2013), Poetry Calendar (Alhambra Publishing, 2006-2011), Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina (Texas Review Press, 2015), Eyes Burning at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia (West Virginia UP, 2017), A Compendium of Kisses (Terrapin Books, 2019) and elsewhere.

For the cultural journal Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, he edits “A Poetry Congeries, and he is on the advisory board for Backbone Press, dedicated to marginalized voices whose work may not be published elsewhere. For nine years he served as Personal Assistant to Toni Morrison. He is a Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at East Carolina University.


  • Domestic Garden. A book of poetry. Carnegie Mellon University Press, February 2015. Anticipate the Coming Reservoir. A book of poetry. Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008. Lives Of Water. A book of poetry. Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2003. Reprint in 2006. This-World Company—Jean Valentine. A collection of essays and interviews. Co-edited with Kazim Ali. U of Michigan P, May 2012.
  • Website:

Participation at the 2019 West End Poetry Festival

  • Curated open mic | Thursday, October 17 | 6:30 pm | Cats Cradle Back Room

For a full schedule and descriptions of all sessions, see the festival schedule.