Photograph of American writer Denis Johnson.

Denis Johnson

(1949 - 2017)

Born in Munich, West Germany, in 1949, Johnson published his first book of poems, The Man Among the Seals, in 1969 and his first novel, Angels, in 1983. Asked by the New York Times Book Review in 1984 about his influences, he said, “My ear for the diction and rhythms of poetry was trained by—in chronological order—Dr. Seuss, Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, the guitar solos of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, and T.S. Eliot.” Johnson received a National Book Award for Tree of Smoke in 2007.

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