Leslie Johnson’s fiction has been broadcast on NPR and published in over thirty journals and magazines, including The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, Colorado Review, Third Coast, december, and Cimarron Review. Winner of the 2017 Pushcart Prize, her work appears in the recent “best of Pushcart prose” anthology, Love Stories for Turbulent Times (Pushcart Press, January, 2018). Her recently completed first novel, Round Trip, is represented by Julie Stevenson of Massie & McQuilkin.
Leslie holds an MFA from the University of Arizona and now teaches at the University of Hartford. The recipient of two individual artist grants from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Leslie also works as a teaching artist, leading workshops and residencies at schools, libraries, and museums. She lives with her husband, the poet Bruce Cohen, in rural Connecticut; they have three wonderful sons.
AUTHOR & TEACHING ARTIST
Massie & McQuilkin
27 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
I RUN INTO YOU
When I run into you at the Guggenheim, I can’t believe it. I haven’t thought of you in forever. Years. I’m forty-six years old, which means you are, too, because our birthdays are two days apart. I still remember that.
NEXT HALF CENTURY
Nan reaches under the seat where she's stowed her purse, lifts it to the lap of her new micro-fiber pants, guaranteed by Travelsmith catalogue not to crease even worn for hours on a cramped plane.
Midmorning in mid-October, in the middle of the campus, Chandra stopped in the center of the crisscrossing sidewalks.
You can see the giant sign looming in the air from the interstate by the exit for Sturbridge, Massachusettes - a huge plastic pie the size of a satellite dish with one piece missing so its simulated apple filling shows.
IT'S JUST A PARTY
South Carolina Review
When the phone rings at 12:37 at night, Lori's heart squeezes and simultaneously her mind forms the words what no no it's nothing oh god it's something...
JUST WHEN I THINK I'M STARTING TO LEAVE
The Writing Disorder
BIGGER THAN YOU
To enter Washington Street Elementary School, Dave has to press a button outside the opaque double-doors, then stand on a red line in front of a security camera and wait for the door on the left to go “click.”
A COMMON THING
I was a newlywed, a pregnant teenage bride. This was years ago, in Blue Earth, Minnesota, and in the opinion of my mother-in-law, I had ruined her only son's life.
Leslie Johnson teaches writing and literature at the University of Hartford, where she has won awards for sustained excellence in teaching (2011) and creative scholarship (2013).
In addition, Leslie is passionate about her work as a Teaching Artist, providing workshops and residencies for students of all ages, as well as professional development seminars for educators about arts-integration strategies.
For younger students (K-8), Leslie specializes in lively, arts-infused residencies (short and long-term) that foster creativity while developing literacy skills; for teens, college students and adults, Leslie leads writing workshops that inspire and challenge participants within a supportive atmosphere.
Leslie is highly experienced as a Teaching Artist for the CT Office of the Arts (Arts in Education Department); an Arts Provider and Arts Leader for the Hartford Performs organization; a workshop leader for the Mark Twain House; and a professional development presenter trained by the Kennedy Center facilitating workshops with Arts4Educators.
For more information about Leslie’s programs or to schedule a workshop or residency, please click here.
Leslie’s new story "Reclaimed Wood" will be published in the 2018 Fall issue of The Flexible Persona literary magazine.
Leslie received the 2018 Artist Fellowship in Literary Arts Award from the CT Department of Economic and Community Development for the development of new creative work.
Leslie will be reading new work for the Charter Oak Reading series on Sunday Oct. 14th, 2018, at 3:00 PM at the Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Ave., Hartford, CT.
Leslie has recently completed her first novel, Round Trip,
which is represented by Julie Stevenson of Massie & McQuilkin.
“Great news! Leslie Johnson, a talented and award winning short story writer, has just completed her beautifully written and fully realized first novel. Set in frigid Minnesota and the sun-baked Southwest, Round Trip features a cast of quirky and heartbreaking characters who move and engage the reader in unpredictable ways…
Round Trip is the kind of fiction that illuminates life.”
- Wally Lamb (Best-selling author of She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much is True, The Hour I First Believed, and We Are Water)
Leslie’s story “Midterm,” originally published in Colorado Review and winner of the 2017 Pushcart Prize, has been selected for the anthology Love Stories for Turbulent Times: Loving through the Apocalypse (Genie D. Chipps and Bill Henderson, editors, Pushcart Press, January, 2018), a collection of the best prose from the past decades of the Pushcart Prize.