About John J. Ronan                                     

John J. Ronan is a  poet, playwright, movie producer, and journalist.  He has received national honors for his poetry and is a former National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Ucross Fellow, Bread Loaf Scholar, and Poet Laureate of Gloucester, MA.  (On John’s regard for America, Gloucester and civic poetry, see his Op-Ed pieces and “The Lesson,” below.)  In 2010, his volume of poetry, Marrowbone Lane, won Highly Recommended honors from the Boston Authors Club.  In January, Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown, a homage to pluralism in New York City and the nation, was published by the award-winning Backwaters Press.  Follow Backwaters on Facebook.


                 Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester, MA, April 8, 2017

                 Cornelia Street Café, New York City, May 3, 2017.

                 Abbott Public Library, Marblehead, MA, June 18, 2017.

Also a playwright, Ronan’s works include The Yeats Game and The Early Bird Special.  A pioneer in electronic publishing, in 2002 he introduced  a humorous e-book, Damned If I Dotage, on the trials of turning 50.  John is also founder of the media production company American Storyboard, a teacher of film, and host of Cape Ann Television’s The Writer’s Block with John J. Ronan which celebrates its 27th anniversary in the 2016-17 season. 



Courtesy Jake Payne and Jessica Bryan

Courtesy Jake Payne and Jessica Bryan

Ronan lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, with his wife, Sandy, and memories of their adopted Wyoming dog, Cowboy


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The Lesson

The Newtown kids weren’t thinking of Aurora or Tucson,

They had not pledged themselves to weapons, and being kids

Could not remember Blacksburg, Columbine, Binghamton.

The earnest boys and girls of first grade

Weren’t linking patriotism to firepower and stripper clips,

Nor Christmas to domestic terror, cowardice, Congress –

Hadn’t learned the rhetoric of re-election and leadership,

Nor yet had alphabet enough to fathom madness.

Hands over their hearts, the kid-citizens

Called out justice, allegiance, republic,

The lofty thoughts of American civic prayer

Made a persuading faith by the pitch of children:

Simple witness and common sense, a mix

Of law and love, indivisible communion on a dare. 

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Box 5524

Gloucester, MA  01930

Copyright (c) 2017 by John J. Ronan