John Cotter is the author of the novel Under the Small Lights, and the memoir Losing Music, which Oprah Daily calls, “as much a love letter to sound itself as it is a chronicle of loss; your world will sound different after reading it.” The Millions calls Losing Music, “a powerful addition to the memoir canon–hard-hitting, beautiful, profound.” And The Wall Street Journal says, “Evidence that Mr. Cotter’s ear is still keen for the melodies of language sings from every page.”

John has written about hotel bars for The New York Times, camping in a homeless shelter for Guernica, and mysterious dinosaurs for Prairie Schooner. Further fiction, essays, and criticism, have appeared in New England ReviewEpochElectric Literature’s Recommended ReadingGeorgia Review, Adroit, and Joyland.

He has worked as a theater director, ghostwriter, trash collector, and copy editor, as well as a teacher of environmental ethics, English literature, and history. From 2009 – 2017 he was Executive Editor at the arts and review site Open Letters Monthly. In 2018 he was Artist in Residence at SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine, and in 2022 he was resident fellow at the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut. He lives in Providence with his wife, the poet Elisa Gabbert.


Represented by Noah Ballard at Verve Talent & Literary:

twitter: @smalllights

Powells Amazon