Orrick Glenday Johns

Playwright, Author

1887 – 1946


Who was Orrick Glenday Johns?

Orrick Glenday Johns was an American poet and playwright and was part of the literary group that included T. S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. He was active in the Communist Party.

Johns was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to George Sibley Johns and Minnehaha McDearmon. He lost a leg as a child in St. Louis to a streetcar accident. He won a poetry contest in 1912 hosted by The Lyric Year, despite competing against Edna St. Vincent Millay's famed "Renascence", a victory he felt was misjudged. His first wife was the artist Margarite Frances Baird, also known as Peggy Baird. His second wife was Carolyn Blackman. She was plagued by anorexia and mental illness, and was probably the love of his life. They had a daughter, Charis. His third wife was Doria Berton, mother of his daughter, Deborah. He committed suicide by poisoning himself in Danbury, Connecticut.

He is mentioned in Kenneth Rexroth's poem, "Thou Shalt Not Kill", as "hopping into the surf on his one leg".

His works include:

⁕1917 - Asphalt and Other Poems

⁕1920 - Black Branches, A Book of Poetry and Plays

⁕1925 - Blindfold, a novel

⁕1926 - Wild Plum: Lyrics, with Sonnets to Charis

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Jun 2, 1887
St. Louis
Also known as
  • Orrick Johns
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • St. Louis
  • Missouri
Jul 8, 1946

on July 23, 2013


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