Jon Conley

Poetry | Cleveland State University | Class of 2022

Jon Conley’s Deadheading is a testament to the care, attention, precision, and intensity that Jon has developed over years of poetic practice. This is a wonderfully distinctive and moving collection of poems, recreating a series of encounters with local scenes and landscapes, an investigation into the possibilities of observation and the deliberate quieting of the self. In Jon’s work, each word matters. Poetry is a form of presence. This writer’s commitment is a gift.  —Hilary Plum


About Jon

Jon Conley is a writer and musician from Cleveland. Read his work at

What’s on your nightstand right now?

It is very crowded:

Memory Rose Into Threshold Speech – Paul Celan

Moby Dick – Herman Melville

Ark – Ronal Johnson

Stone Lyre – René Char

For the Good of All, Do Not Destroy the Birds – Jennifer Moxley

Pity the Beast – Robin McLean

Cold Hand in Mine – Robert Aickman

Complete Works – Lorine Neidecker

Books of Blood 1-3 – Clive Barker

What are your favorite words? Why?

Most with a double o. Ventriloquist is a nice word, too. Socially, vocally, dynamically, and for sheer usage, it’s fuck. Of all types, I like the preposition best.

Do you have any eccentric habits/strategies to get you started writing? What are they?

No, not really. Life, if lived, is a maniacal thing. In its entirety it is an eccentric buildup to writing.