A native of the eastern edge of the Great Basin, John Bennion writes personal and historical essays and fiction about communities of people struggling with that arid landscape. He has published a collection of short fiction, Breeding Leah and other Stories (Signature Books, 1991), and five novels: Falling Toward Heaven (Signature Books, 2000), An Unarmed Woman (Signature Books, 2019), Ezekiel’s Third Wife (Roundfire Books, 2019), Spin (By Common Consent Press, 2022), and Ruth at the End of the Earth (BCC Press, 2023). Another novel, Antelope Spring, is forthcoming from BCC Press in 2025.
He is currently working on a collection of essays about the experiences of his Bennion ancestors, who have ranched and lived in the southern end of Rush Valley for five generations. John has published short stories and essays in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Hotel Amerika, Southwest Review, AWP Chronicle, Hobart, Palaver, High Country News, Utah Historical Quarterly, Journal of Mormon History, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Sunstone Magazine and others. He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award (2021) from the Association for Mormon Letters and has received several AML, Dialogue, and Utah Arts Council awards for his essays and fiction. Ruth at the End of the Earth is a nominee in Science Fiction and Fantasy for a Whitney award (2024). He has retired from teaching creative writing in the English Department at Brigham Young University, and he lives in Provo with his wife Karla, a writer and former therapist.
“I love exploring the tensions inherent in any community and I believe that the experiences off those on the edge, partly in, partly out, best illuminate the frictions and fractures between members of the community and between the community and its environment. For these reasons I have written about Mormon communities living in the arid eastern edge of the Great Basin. In a harsh environment conflict has greater stakes. I’ve written mystery stories where murder fractures the community and those who solve the crime help survivors along the path toward recovery.”
For more information go to johnbennion.com.