Author Bio

Pushcart Prize-winning author John-Ivan Palmer’s literary credits include the critically acclaimed novel, Motels of Burning Madness (The Drill Press, 2009), investigative journalism and literary works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. As a journalist and reviewer for Your Flesh Quarterly, praised by Newsweek as “the premier underground zine of the 90s,” his interviews form a virtual Who’s Who of the international underground at the time. They include foreign dissidents such as Mirko Ilic, novelists Harry Crews, George Pelecanos, Joe Lonsdale, among others, graphic artists like Frank Miller (Sin City), jailed satirist Mike Diana and Japanese manga artist Maruo Suehiro, filmmakers such as Richard Kern and Christian Gore, and controversial researchers Andrea Juno and Vale Vale (of REsearch publications) and anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon.

Tom Bradley’s irreverent interview with Palmer in Exquisite Corpse, A Journal of Art and Life describes the author as an “odd and versatile figure in the literary world, whose fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and literary criticism [are] often perceived as scholarly performances in the Devil’s Theater.”

Palmer applies a disciplined, belletristic style to outsider topics thus making them universally accessible in their deeper humanitarian insights. He writes for readers “who are solitary yet worldly and curious about opening strange doors to see what’s on the other side.”

Palmer’s more recent work in the form of narrative non-fiction moves into surprising new dimensions of literary refinement, as in the presently unpublished (except in parts) The Hidden Card, A Son Remembers his Father in the House of Illusion and Reflections on the Nature of Staged Influence (essays) and in recently published work listed below.

Recently published:

“Stage Hypnotism and the Annihilation of Rational Thought” in Guide to Creative Kulchur Journal (Issue 8 2016) (“People underestimate the persistence of so-called sanity.”) Illustrated with rare archival photos.  Available in print only (

“New Details in the Heist of Alberto Giacometti’s Seated Woman,” Whistling Shade (Fall/Winter, 2016, (“I expected police cars to veer in from all directions…”) Illustrated.

“Superstition” (memoir of working as a “professional male presence” in San Francisco’s Tenderloin) in spring 2017 issue of Shooter Literary Magazine #6, print only (

“Magnetic Reality: Setting the Stage of Mass Murder in School,” Vector Magazine, 2017 ( Included is the author’s encounter with Jeff Weise at Red Lake Indian Reservation High School. Eighteen months later Weise murdered nine people at the same school.

“The Forgotten One” (memoir of the author’s millionaire grandfather who disappeared and how he was found) in the summer 2017 issue of Ilanot Review ( This article was nominated for the Best on the Net Award for 2017.

“The Real Live Scandinavian Folk Dancer: Teddy Qualls, Lost Freak From the Heart of Darkness,” appears in the winter issue of Whistling Shade. For the time being available only in print ( “Kissing in Church” (short story) appears in the spring issue of Literary Nest.

“Dragged Around by the Great Maurice,” a study in X-rated hypnotism, appears in Hypnopomp Literary Journal, issue 4, 2018 (

Recent author appearances:

Eat My Words Books (reading “Dragged Around by the Great Maurice” from Reflections on the Nature of Staged Influence) and Tributary Poetry Series (reading “Massage Parlor Honeymoon,” “Circus of Attention” and “The Reptilian”)


“Massage Parlor Honeymoon” and “Face Focus Burn Hole” (poems) in the winter, 2018 issue of Modern Poetry Quarterly Review. Meet the Breatharians, Those Who Eat Only Air” (article) will appear in the food issue of Whistling Shade, spring, 2018.