About John Glassie

John Glassie is the author of A Man of Misconceptions (Riverhead, 2012), a non-fiction book about a great and strange 17th-century polymath named Athanasius Kircher. A New York Times Book Review "Editors' Choice," it was called one of the best books of 2012 by Atlantic Wire and Scientific American.

Glassie's written work has been published by the Believer, The New York Times, The New Republic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, Wired, and many other venues. In addition to writing articles about books, the arts, and ideas, he has interviewed dozens of public figures, from Gene Simmons to Anita Hill to Jhumpa Lahiri. 

For many years, Glassie was a contributing editor for The New York Times Magazine, where he published personal stories from around the world and worked with authors such as Diane Ackerman, Daniel Alarcón, Nadeem Aslam, Sarah M. Broom, Ben Fountain, Sheila Heti, Gabe Hudson, Samantha Hunt, Randa Jarrar, Mat Johnson, Bret Anthony Johnston, Etgar Keret, Rachel Kushner, Laila Lalami, Yiyun Li, Sarah Manguso, ZZ Packer, Karen Russell, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Robert Stone, Wells Tower, Abraham Verghese, Vendela Vida, Bryan Washington, Kevin Wilson, and John Wray. 

John's street photographs became the basis of a 2005 book, Bicycles Locked to Poles, published by McSweeney's, and the subject of an exhibition at Jen Bekman Gallery in New York. At certain odd times he has also exhibited paintings, constructions, and video. His writing and photographs have been included in several anthologies, including The Public Domain Review: Selected Essays, 2011-2013 (PDR Press, 2014), New York: A Photographer's City (Rizzoli, 2011), Art of McSweeney's (Chronicle Books, 2010), and Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson (DeCapo press, 2009). 

Glassie has taught at Pratt Institute and has given talks or participated on panels at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Columbia University, Loyola University in New Orleans, The New School, The CUNY Graduate Center, and The University of Iowa. He has also been a ghostwriter and speechwriter, and has worked with media, policy, and cultural organizations. He grew up near Washington, D.C., and attended The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He lives in Brooklyn.

Interviews, Talks & Other Events

Deutchlandradio Kultur

February 17, 2015

Baltimore Book Festival

With the Ivy Bookshop
in the fabulous George Peabody Library
Sunday, September 29, 2013, 12:00 noon


Chicago Printers Row Lit Fest
Chicago, June 8, 2013

Science on Screen: "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"

May 28, 2013
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn, NY

Loyola University, New Orleans

Monday, April 22, 7 p.m.

Columbia University Seminar in the Renaissance

April 9, 2013 
New York, NY

Lapham's Quarterly Podcast

February 26, 2013

The Ivy Bookshop, Baltimore

January 24, 2013

Lanigan & Malone Morning Show

January 22, 2013 
WMJI 105.7-FM in Cleveland

Science Friday on NPR

December 28, 2012

The Leonard Lopate Show

December 10, 2012 
WNYC-FM, New York

In conversation with Joshua Foer and Lawrence Weschler (postponed)

December 4, 2012 
The Observatory Room at Proteus Gowanus
543 Union Street (at Nevins), Brooklyn, NY

All Things Considered on NPR

November 18, 2012

Miami Book Fair International

Sunday, November 18, noon 
Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami

Moby-Dick Marathon Reading NYC

Friday, November 16 , 5 p.m. to midnight 
WORD, 126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY

Barnes & Noble, Bethesda, MD

Thursday November 15, 2012 7:00 p.m., 
4801 Bethesda Avenue,
Bethesda, MD

Sean Moncrieff Show

November 14 
Newstalk radio, Dublin, Ireland

Greenlight Bookstore, with author and New Yorker editor Ben Greenman

Monday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m.
686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn


johnglassie at gmail

  • @Father_Kircher
  • haywoodglassie