John Farris (poet and novelist)

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John Farris (1940–2016) was an American poet and novelist who lived in the East Village neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. He is the author of a volume of verse It's not About Time which was published by Fly by Night Press (ISBN 9780963740502) in 1993.[1] He is the also author of the novel The Ass's Tale published Unbearable Books (ISBN 9781570272219).[2] Farris won the 2013 Acker Award in the fiction for the volume.[3]

Farris was a member of the rag tag literary collective "The Unbearables". Early in his career he spent some time in the orbit around the Civil Rights leader Malcolm X.[4]

Farris died of a heart attack in January 2016 at his flat at the Bullet Space collective in the East Village of Manhattan.[5][6]

A memorial celebrating Farris's life and art was held at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City on the evening of April 29, 2016. The speakers and readers at the memorial included; Chavisa Woods, Michael Carter, Ron Kolm, Bob Holman, Andrew Castrucci, Mia Hansford, David Henderson, Steve Cannon, and several of the writer's daughters, Farris's grandson jazz saxophonist Richard Dye also performed.[7]

A volume of his final poems is being edited for Archway Editions by Andrew Castrucci, Nicodemus Nicoludis and Chris Molnar. Excerpts from this project have appeared in Sensitive Skin and the Unpublishable anthology. [8][9][10]


  1. ^ John Farris (Author). "It's not about time: Poems by James Farris: John Farris: Books". Retrieved 2016-02-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "The Ass's Tale by John Farris". The Unbearables. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-02-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Remix this video. "The Acker Awards, 2013, John Farris, fiction writer, poet, artist". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-02-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Baraka, Amiri (April 2012). The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones. ISBN 9781613745892.
  5. ^ "John Farris, bohemian poet who chronicled life on Lower East Side". 2016-02-11.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Memorial for poet John Farris". 2016-04-28.
  8. ^ "Final Poems of John Farris". Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  9. ^ "Archway Editions". Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  10. ^ "Unpublishable". Retrieved 2021-03-12.