Writer, Teacher, Publisher
Mike published his first novel with Hard Echo Press in 1986. Since then he has published twelve novels and three books of poetry. Mike founded Lasavia Publishing in 2015. He worked as a lecturer in the Masters of Creative Writing programs both Auckland and AUT University.
Mike Johnson was born in Canterbury, New Zealand, and never quite recovered…
Make up a history, a cut up of a life. Create a Mike Johnson out of these selected raw materials. A plausible self, complete with personal details – I am a fictional character I have enlisted over the years for the purpose of writing these mini biographies. I’ve made up this character called Mike Johnson who spent his life with words and who writes books and blogs.
2023 – Sketches
2021 – Stench. Lasavia Publishing
2021 – Flippity Fluppity Flop. Lasavia Publishing
2020 – Driftdead. Lasavia Publishing
2020 – The Raising Light Trilogy. Three Books of Poetry. Lasavia Publishing
Part One – The Toy Box
Part Two – Hide Your Eyes: The Rumi Poems
Part Three – Extinction Rebellion
2019 – Ladder with No Rungs. Lasavia Publishing
2018 – Zombie in a Spacesuit. Lasavia Publishing
2018 – Kenny and the Roof slide (with Jen Rackham). Lasavia Publishing
2017 – Two Lines and a Garden (with Leila Lees). Lasavia Publishing
2017 – Confessions of a Cockroach/Headstone. Lasavia Publishing
2015 – Taniwha (With Jennifer Rackham). Lasavia Publishing
2015 – Back in the Day. Lasavia Publishing
2014 – Hold my Teeth While I Teach you to Dance. Lasavia Publishing Ltd: Auckland. A novel.
2014 – The Angel of Compassion. Lasavia Publishing Ltd: Auckland. Non-fiction.
2004 – Stench, Hazard Press: Christchurch. A novel.
2001 – Counterpart. Harper Collins: Sydney. A novel.
1996 – Dumb Show. Longacre Press: Dunedin. A novel.
1996 – Treasure Hunt. Auckland University Press: Auckland. Poetry.
1991 – Lethal Dose. Hard Echo Press: Auckland. A novel.
1991 – Foreigners. Penguin Books: Auckland. Three novellas.
1991 – Mary Mouse, Manuscript of Children’s Poetry, broadcast on NZ National Radio.
1987 – Antibody Positive. Hard Echo Press, Auckland. A novel.
1986 – Lear: The Shakespeare Company Plays Lear at Babylon. Hard Echo Press, Auckland. A novel.
1985 – Standing Wave. Hard Echo Press, Auckland. Poetry.
1984 – From a Woman in Mt Eden Prison & Drawing Lessons. Hard Echo Press, Auckland. Poetry.
1983 – The Palanquin Ropes. Voice Press, Wellington. Poetry.
1973 – Dialogue. Whitcomb and Tombs, Christchurch. A text for senior English. Co-author with A.T. Johnson.
Pending: To Beatrice Where We Crossed The Line. Second Avenue Press: Auckland. Poetry. Due March, 2014.
Only those stories anthologized are listed. The list does not include stories, or novel excerpts, published in magazines or literary periodicals.
2021 – ‘The Coming of the Gray Ghost’ (Eunoia Press). Scorchers. Ed. by Paul Mountfort.
2009 – ‘A visit to Te Wharau Bay: A Conversation at the End of the World’ (Random House). The Best New Zealand Fiction # 6. Edited by Owen Marshall.
2006 – ‘The Wedding of Psyche’ (Reed Books). The myth of the 21st Century. Ed. by Tina Shaw and Jack Ross.
1998 – ‘Towards the bottom of the garden, the plum blossom shows pink.’ (Tandem) One hundred Short Short Stories Ed by Graham Lay.
1996 – ‘The Fohn Effect’ (IPL) Antipodean Tales Ed. by Geoff Churchman.
1995 – ‘Teledildonics’ Lust (Vintage) Ed. by Michael Giftkins.
1995 – ‘When That Shark Bites’ Men Love Sex (Vintage, Australia) Ed. by Alan Close.
1995 – ‘Rutherford’s Dream’ Rutherford’s Dreams (IPL) Ed. by Warwick Bennett and Patrick Hudson.
1994 – ‘The Harmony of the Swine’ Tart and Juicy (Vintage) Ed. by Michael Giftkins.
1992 – ‘The Woman of Tuscany House’ Erotic Writing (Penguin) Ed. by Sue McCauley and Richard Mc Lachlan.
2006 – Wellington composer Carol Shortis wins the Philip Neil Memorial Prize with a song entitled ‘The riddle of her flight’ with the lyrics of a poem from Mike Johnson’s book Treasure Hunt.
2002 – Nominated for the Sir Julius Vogel Award for the novel Counterpart.
2002 – Auckland University Literary Fellowship. Value: $50.000.
2001 – Creative NZ project grant for work on a novel. Value $9,000.
1999 – Francis Keane Award for best short story, ‘Magic Strings.’
1997 – Buckland Memorial Literary Award for the novel, Dumb Show.
1996 – Creative NZ Project Grant for work on a novel (Counterpart). Value $18,000.
1992 – Playwrights Grant for working on dramatizing of Lear: Value: $3000.
1990 – Literary Fund Project Grant for work on fiction. Value $9000.
1988 – Literary Fund Project Grant for work on a novel. Value: $6000.
1987 – Literary Fellowship for twelve months at the University of Canterbury. (Writer in Residence.) Value $40,000.
1986 – Lear. A novel. Shortlisted for New Zealand Book Awards.
1985 – Literary Fund Project Grant for prose writing. Value: $3000.
1982 – Poetry Prize: Te Awamutu Festival of the Arts.
1981 – Co winner of the John Cowie Reed Memorial Competition for a long poem or sequence of poems, with The Palanquin Ropes.
I began teaching creative writing in 1987, during a year as Literary Fellow at the University Canterbury, and have been teaching it ever since. Throughout the 1990’s I taught night classes for what was then The Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Auckland. These classes had wonderful names, like ‘Develop your Creative Writing Potential!’ In 2003 I began working for the English Department at the University of Auckland, teaching across a range of undergraduate creative and academic writing classes, including The Short Story and Contemporary Poetry both at stage 3 level.
In 2005 I worked in the first year of The University of Auckland’s Master’s in Creative Writing program (MCW). From 2008 to 2020, I taught both undergrad and postgrad creative writing in the English department at Auckland Universtiy of Technology.