Photo Credit: John W. Leys

John W. Leys

b. 1973

Current City, State, Country

Albany, Oregon, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Oceanside, New York, USA


John W. Leys was born in Oceanside, NY but was raised in Albany, Oregon, where his mother lived as a child. Leys began writing poetry in his teen years, largely inspired by the song lyrics of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Pete Townshend. His more literary influences include: Erica Jong, Lord Byron, Leonard Cohen, Allen Ginsberg, Walt Whitman, C. Valerius Catullus, Sylvia Plath, and many others. John joined the US Army straight out of high school and served five years in the Adjutant General’s Corps, stationed in Giessen, Germanym and Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. He earned a BA degree in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida in Tampa and did his graduate studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, where he lived for a time. When asked what kind of poetry he wrote, Leys responded that he wrote “Neo-Romantic Beat Poetry.” John published his first poetry collection, The Darkness of His Dreams, in 2019. It was followed the next year by Whispers of a One-Eyed Raven: Mythological Poetry, a collection of poetry inspired by Norse and Celtic mythology which Leys referred to as his “concept album.” His eagerly awaited third collection of poetry When the Banshee Howls and Other Poems is due to be published in November 2022. Leys lives in Albany, Oregon in the house he grew up in, which he shares with a temperamental chihuahua, eight ukuleles, and a massive amount of books. When not writing he can be found feeding the ravens by the lake.

Published Works

When the Banshee Howls and Other Poems (Broken Wing Publishing, November 2022)
Whispers of a One-Eyed Raven: Mythological Poetry (Broken Wing Publishing, 2020)
The Darkness of His Dreams (Broken Wing Publishing, 2019)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading


University of South Florida, BA in Religious Studies
The Jewish Theological Seminary, Graduate Studies

Subject Matter