Poetry & Literary Writing

︎ Literary CV
︎ News & Events

John Nyman’s poetic and literary writing spans traditional verse, visual and conceptual forms, and critical and philosophical prose. His asemic and erasure-based bookworks, including Your Very Own and The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis: A Selection, often intersect with his work in the visual arts. Meanwhile, his experiments with critical prose and creative non-fiction draw from his scholarly research into deconstruction, postmodernism, and contentinal philosophy more broadly. John has performed his poetry on stage at literary festivals, reading series, and open mics across Canada and internationally.

Books & Chapbooks

A Devil Every Day, Palimpsest Press, April 2023. [link]

Through a kaleidoscope of philosophy, critical theory, and folk theology, A Devil Every Day surveys the terrain where white Western culture blends into pure evil. Twisting into aphorisms, inner dialogues, and incantations, John Nyman’s poems are caught between complacency and a disquieting agnosticism, contemplating the problematic pleasures and unremarkable monstrosities of the contemporary West. Ultimately, A Devil Every Day asks: what hope is there for personal integrity in a radically moralizing future?

    • Praise for A Devil Every Day:

“If the devil is in the details, then John Nyman is in there as well, rooting around, exploring the icky corners of good and evil (and beyond), blurring the lines between animal, vegetable, mineral, and the divine. A Devil Every Day takes the lines we would normally call “poetry” and twists them into shapes we haven’t even discovered yet.” — George Murray, author of Problematica

“Intricate, thoughtful, and erudite, John Nyman’s A Devil Every Day probes the workings of dogmatism and hypocrisy in playful, sonorous language.” — Annick MacAskill, Governor General’s Award-winning author of Shadow Blight

“Nyman is one of very few critics engaging with the concept of whiteness in a way other than casting the capacious, shifting, and ill-defined identity category as an indicator of pure evil. [...] Suffice it to say that this is a culturally fraught topic; A Devil Every Day takes that freight as its premise.” — Carl Watts, “On and Off the Horns” in Hamilton Arts & Letters [link]

“Plants, in the peace of their flourishing, become a kind of answer, or a balm, or an antidote, or merely something else to think about, for an overactive mind burdened with a thousand moral quandaries that can never quite be satisfactorily resolved.” — Jade Wallace, “Beyond Good and Evil, There are Plants” in CAROUSEL [link]

    • previewed on CBC Books. [link]
    • previewed on 49th Shelf. [link]
    • Montreal launch featured on Forget The Box. [link]

Your Very Own, JackPine Press, December 2021. [info] [link]

    • excerpted and reviewed by Graham Sigurdson in Broken Pencil 96 (summer 2022). [link]
    • reviewed by Elena Bentley for SaskBooks Reviews. [link]
    • mentioned in Jim Johnstone’s Write, Print, Fold and Staple: On Poetry and Micropress in Canada.

The Devil, knife | fork | book, March 2020. [link]

    • reviewed by Terry Trowbridge in Erato. [link]

The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis: A Selection, 2015-2019. [info]

    • mentioned in Peter Schwenger’s Asemic: The Art of Writing.
    • mentioned in Willem Styfhals’ Apologie van het schrift.

Slogan, Substance, Dream: keywords for a responsible poetry, Anstruther Press Manifesto Series, March 2018. [link]

(with &, collective) &, 2: this happened to one of us, Publication Studio Guelph, September 2016.

Players, Palimpsest Press, 2016. [link]

    • shortlisted for the League of Canadian Poets 2017 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.
    • featured on All Lit Up. [link]
    • reviewed by Danny Jacobs in Hamilton Arts & Letters. [link]
    • reviewed by Wally Keeler in Northumberland Today (25 May 2016). [pdf]

O Our Ism, 2014-2015. [info] [e-book]

Selected Publications

“A Plant is Not a Nation” and “Four Dreams About Justice” in The /tƐmz/ Review 18, March 2022. [link]

“Incantation to Lose” in Voicing Suicide, Ekstasis Editions, October 2020. [link]

“The Devil Writing,” “The Devil In Person,” “Praise God,” “Splits,” and “Holy of Holies” in The /tƐmz/ Review 10, February 2020. [link]

excerpts from Your Very Own in long con 1, November 2019. [link]

“Object” and “Non-binary” in EVENT 47.3, winter 2019.

“The Leader’s Wrongness” in Juniper 2.2, summer 2018. [link]

“Sunlight” in The Malahat Review 203, summer 2018.

“The Mole Rat” in The Buffalo News, 4 December 2016.


“One Question Interview” with Alex Boyd, 6 July 2023. [link]

Wax Poetic, Vancouver Co-op Radio, 31 May 2023. [link]

“The John Nyman Interview” with Kevin Andrew Heslop in The Miramichi Reader, 27 May 2023. [link]

12 or 20 questions on rob mclennan’s blog, 16 June 2016. [link]

Interview with Palimpsest Press, 23 April 2016. [link]

Interview with Kevin Heslop for London Open Mic Poetry Night, 24 March 2015. [link]


Your Very Own artist’s talk / launch, 1 March 2022. [link]

Art Bar online reading, 15 September 2020 (1/2). [link]

Art Bar online reading, 15 September 2020 (2/2). [link]

“for MF DOOM,” 22 March 2017. [link]

“Lush,” 22 March 2017. [link]