J. Michael Lennon is a writer, editor, archivist, and teacher. In 2004, he co-founded (with Bonnie Culver) the Maslow Family Graduate Creative Writing Program at Wilkes University, where he teaches a course in creative nonfiction. He has written or edited more than 15 books, including, most recently a memoir, Mailer’s Last Days: New and Selected Remembrances of a Life in Literature (Etruscan, 2021); an edition of Norman Mailer’s writings about America’s democracy (with John Buffalo Mailer), A Mysterious Country: The Grace and Fragility of Democracy (Skyhorse, 2023); and also in 2023, the Library of America edition, The Naked and the Dead and Selected Letters, 1945-46. In 2007, he co-authored with Mailer, On God: An Uncommon Conversation (Random House). Mailer selected him to write the authorized biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life (Simon and Schuster, 2013), which was a New York Times “Editor’s Choice” selection, followed the next year by his edition, Selected Letters of Norman Mailer (Random House). Forthcoming from Skyhorse Publishing in spring 2024 is Lipton’s: A Marijuana Journal, 1954-55, an edition of Mailer’s unpublished journal, co-edited with G. R. Lucas and Susan Mailer. He is the co-editor, with his wife Donna Pedro and G. R. Lucas, of the revised and expanded edition of the bio-bibliography, Norman Mailer: Works and Days (Mailer Society, 2018). The first edition of this compilation was published in 2000 and was the recipient of a Choice Magazine award for “outstanding scholarly title.” Other edited books include Critical Essays on Norman Mailer (1986), Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988), The James Jones Reader (1991), The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing (2003) and Norman Mailer’s Letters on An American Dream, 1963-69 (2004).

He is the past president of both The Norman Mailer Society and The James Jones Literary Society and serves on the boards of both organizations. He is also the Chair of the Editorial Board of The Mailer Review. His work has appeared in the Mailer Review, New York, New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Paris Review, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Creative Nonfiction, Ocean State Review, Hippocampus, New York, Modern Fiction Studies, Modern Language Studies, and Journal of Modern Literature.  He has also edited three of Mailer’s works for Taschen Books: The Fight (2022), Mailer/Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe (2011); and MoonfireThe Epic Journey of Apollo 11 (2009). Lennon’s documentary,  James Jones: From Reveille to Taps, premiered on PBS in 1984; The Lincolns of Springfield, Illinois was shown in 1990. He was a faculty member and founding Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Illinois-Springfield from 1972-1992, where he also co-founded (with Sen. Paul Simon), the graduate program in Public Affairs Reporting. He is Emeritus Vice President for Academic Affairs and Emeritus Professor of English at Wilkes University. He served from 2005-2007 as a literary consultant at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas-Austin, where he assisted in the cataloging of Mailer’s papers, and was a Fellow there in 2009. Lennon received the A.B. from Stonehill College and the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. He is married to the former Donna Pedro; they are the parents of three sons and four grandchildren and live in Bryn Mawr, PA. 

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