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in the form of narrative non-fiction moves into surprising new dimensions of literary refinement, as in the presently unpublished (except in parts) Waking Up in the House of Illusion and Reflections on the Nature of Staged Influence and recently published work (see below).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. Available at bookstores, libraries and coffeehouses in the Twin Cities or downloadable for $1 online at

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

Forthcoming: “The Forgotten One” (memoir of a disappeared grandfather) in the summer 2017 issue of Ilanot Review (