About John Tottenham

John Tottenham is the author of one novel, numerous essays, and three volumes of poitry: The Inertia Variations (Kerosene Bomb 2004 & 2010), an epic cycle on the subject of work-avoidance, indolence and failure; Antiepithalamia & Other Poems of Regret and Resentment (Penny-Ante 2012), a sequence of mean-spirited love poems with particular respect paid to the institution of marriage, and The Hate Poems (Amok 2018), in which he adopts the persona of an embittered middle-aged man with frustrated artistic aspirations and a healthy ambivalence towards the accepted pieties of romantic involvement.

A unique purveyor of “magnanimous misanthropy” and “magical cynicism,” Tottenham has been described as “our preeminent contemporary poete maudit.”

His paintings and drawings have been exhibited in solo shows at galleries in Los Angeles and New York.

His essays and criticism appear frequently in Artillery, the LA Review of Books, and other periodicals. His long-standing column in Artillery is widely read.

Tottenham performs regularly in Los Angeles – at rock venues, bookstores, bars and comedy clubs. His performances include elements of stand-up and have been described as “confrontational self-deprecation.”

A new collection of poitry, Fresh Failure, will be published by Hat & Beard Press in the autumn of 2023.



24 Responses to “About John Tottenham”

  1. I enjoyed your sense of humor in your bio in Artillery. For some reason, I thought I’d let you know.

  2. I started a motorcycle club recently,we call ourselves the Sons of Apathy.Your words resonated with me,if a motorcycle group can have a Poet Laureate,and why not,then you are ours.

  3. I’ve just discovered you thanks to “no way jose”. Few words in a movie and it was enough; i want to know more about you and your writings. I love to read and when i feel satisfied enough of what i’m doing, i love to write as well. Rarely. But fortunally i have a tough job in a factory already 🙂
    Anyway, i’m looking forward to read your stuff very much.
    It was a very good comedy this one.
    Stefano. Italy

  4. I like your poems. That’s all

  5. I feel like a creep, I’ve looked at everything on the internet about you and your work. And wish there was more. I also wish you read a wider variety of poems, and maybe that there were more interviews or something. Also maybe I have a crush on you. But I hope it goes away!

  6. you should write more stories……………

  7. please make another book!

  8. handsome poet

  9. Just got a nod from terry(?) mentioning you and me in memphis

  10. They read some of your work recently in Italy on the radio:

  11. I like you. You’re likable.

  12. Hi John, I’m another “failed visionary” but published poet of long standing or collapsing. We met briefly at Cafe Figaro when we had a few pleasant words and then again by chance at Skylight Books where you touted me most “tottingly” to not buy your “terrible” book with the kitty cat on the cover! However, I am perversely enjoying your work online anyway.
    Good to meet you again not on Facebook where I’m faceless. Give me a shout out if you so desire. Dan

  13. I would like to buy a painting

  14. I enjoyed reading yyour post

  15. you’re a strange and cruel man

  16. Do you still support Wolves?


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