I’m John West.

I’m the lead technologist on the R&D team of the Wall Street Journal, where I report the news with code, but I’m currently on leave to write a book about link rot and digital ephemerality.

My first book, Lessons and Carols—which sits at the corner of poetry and essay and grapples with addiction, liturgy, and literature—is forthcoming from Eerdmans.

I have worked at Quartz, the MIT Media Lab, and Cortico. I am also the on-haitus co-director of Etc. Gallery, a home for digital and IRL narrative experiments. My fiction has been at Four Way Review, and my reportage and essays have been at the Journal, Fast Company, Quartz, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. I have been on investigative teams covering the Facebook whistle-blower documents, TikTok’s and Google’s algorithms, and more.

I hold an MFA in writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars, a BA in philosophy from Oberlin College, and a performance degree in historical performance (i.e., the performance practices of music written in the Renaissance and Baroque eras) from Oberlin Conservatory. I play the recorder and keyboards.

I live in Boston, Massachusetts—in beautiful Dorchester—with my partner, our daughter, and a cat. I think websites ought to be fun.