Career and Writing

John J. Ronan’s  latest book of poetry, Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown, appeared in 2018 and was published by the renowned Omaha-based The Backwaters Press; an earlier book, Marrowbone Lane, was published by Backwaters and in 2010 it was named a “Highly Recommended” choice by the Boston Authors Club.  Both are available at Barnes and Noble and  Amazon. Poetry has appeared in scores of national magazines and reviews, including New England Review, Three Penny Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Hollins Critic, and Notre Dame Review.  Other books include The Catching Self and The Curable Corpse, published by Folly Cove in 1996 and 1999 respectively, and John J. Ronan: Greatest Hits 1975-2000, published by Pudding House Publications in 2001.  Work was also included in an anthology of prize-winning poetry, Sad Little Breathing and Other Acts of Ventriloquism, edited by Heather McHugh and published in hardcopy and electronically by PublishingOnline in 2001. After he was named a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Literature, Ronan used the stipend in part to promote local poets and poetry and to expand his cable access television program on poetry, The Writer’s Block with John Ronan.  He is also a former Ucross Fellow and Bread Loaf Scholar.  In June of 2008 he was named to a term as Poet Laureate of Gloucester, MA, and established a poetry scholarship at Gloucester High School. 

As a playwright, Ronan premiered  The Yeats Game  (aka Sex and the Dead) in 2008 at Boston Playwrights’ Theater. and in 2012 moved the play to an off-off Broadway production at the Producer’s Club.  The production was made possible in part by American Storyboard.   A one-act, The Earlybird Special, was a finalist in the 2016 Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans, and also a finalist in the Riant Theatre’s Strawberry One-Act festival in  New York, July, 2016; the play was a winner in the 2016 Firehouse Festival.  The Apple Trap: An Allegory on Greed, a political satire, was finished in fall of 2017.  An additional one-act, Illusion 101, is nearing completion. Further information is available at Doollee and the Dramatist’s Guild.


As a journalist, Ronan has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, The Chicago Tribune and many other newspapers.  He is a former columnist for the Essex County Papers and a former feature writer for The Boston Phoenix. In 2000, John published a book of humor, an e-book titled: Damned If I Dotage!  The Boomer Faces Fifty. John Ronan is also Professor Emeritus at North Shore Community College, Danvers, MA, where he teaches composition and film.

Box 5524

Gloucester, MA 01930

Copyright (c) 2021 by John J. Ronan