About John Glassie

John Glassie is the author of A Man of Misconceptions, a non-fiction book published by Riverhead 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. He is working on another book. 

Glassie's written work has been published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Believer, Forbes, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Republic, The New York Times, 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 Anita Hill to Gene Simmons to Jhumpa Lahiri. 

For many years, Glassie was a contributing editor for The New York Times Magazine, where among other things he published first-person stories from around the world and worked with many of the finest literary novelists, journalists, and memoirists in the United States and abroad. These include 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, Dale Maharidge, Sarah Manguso, ZZ Packer, Karen Russell, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Robert Stone, Wells Tower, Abraham Verghese, Vendela Vida, Bryan Washington, Kevin Wilson, and John Wray. 


John has taught writing at Pratt Institute and has given talks or participated on panels at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Columbia University, Loyola University in New Orleans, The New School, The CUNY Graduate Center, and The University of Iowa. He has also worked as an independent editor with a number of authors on their manuscripts and book proposals. 

In 2005, John's street photographs became the basis of a 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 his 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).

Earlier in his career John was director of corporate communications and an executive speechwriter at NBC. Prior to that, he was speechwriter for the chairman of New York Life Insurance Company and a staff writer for a Washington, D.C., communications firm specializing in cultural affairs. He has subsequently worked as an independent consultant, providing editorial services to a range of media companies and cultural organizations, including American Express, American Museum of Natural History, Children's Museum of Manhattan, Disney-ABC Television Group, Markle Foundation, MTV Networks, Museum of the Moving Image, Unilever Corporation, Viacom, and Whitney Museum of American Art. He has ghostwritten speeches, essays, and opinion pieces for the heads of many organizations on topics ranging from digital media to democracy to culture and education.

John's first job out of college was at a Washington, D. C.,  art gallery, where he became assistant director. He grew up in the D.C. area 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
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