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.