John Briggs

Western Connecticut State University

CSU Distinguished Professor


Address: English Dept., WCSU, Danbury, CT 06810

33 Barnard Road, Granville, MA 01034



Ph.D. in aesthetics and psychology, The Union Institute and University, 1981

M.A. in English, New York University, 1972

B.A. in Letters, Wesleyan University, College of Letters, Honors, cum laude, 1968


Professional Experience

1999-2001, & 2003

Co-chair, Department of English Language, Comparative Literature and Writing, WCSU


Adjunct faculty: Union Institute (Ph.D program); Vermont College of Norwich University (Masters program)


Professor of English, Journalism Coordinator, WCSU


Associate Professor of English, Journalism Coordinator, WCSU


Adjunct English Department Faculty, Mercy College


Humanities Faculty, The New School for Social Research


Adjunct English Department Faculty, Brooklyn College


English teacher, Patchogue High School, Irvington High School


Freelance science writer


Consulting Editor, Herman Smith Associates


Copy Editor, The Hartford Courant


Co-host, The Logic of Poetry Radio show, WNYC public radio, NYC


Freelance professional photographer specializing in book illustration


Managing Editor, New York Quarterly


Managing Editor, The Academy (Am. Acad. Psychoanalysis)


Reporter, The Hartford Courant


Reporter, The Tarrytown Daily News



1997-- Fiction Editor, Assistant Editor, Connecticut Review


Civic: Member of Granville Board of Selectmen, 1987-1992, Chairman of Board 1989 and 1992; Chairman of committee to create a Citizens' Park for Granville 1995-1999 ; organizer and Chairman, Granville Business Assn. 1993-1997; 1994 to present, patrol officer, Granville Police.


Professional, Teaching: Undergraduate courses taught include courses in William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Introduction to Fiction, Introduction to Poetry, Basic News Writing, Book Writing and Publishing, Magazine Editing and Desktop Production, Writing About Specialized Subjects, Opinion Writing, Fiction Workshop and Advanced Fiction Workshop. Graduate courses include several courses in aesthetics, nonfiction workshop and creative writing workshop.

In 1999-2000 helped develop the Writing Option of the M.A. in English. In 1999-2000 developed an undergraduate Professional Writing Major (including seven options) for the department. Approved in 2001 by the Department of Higher Education.

In 2001-2002 part of the four-person team that developed the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Professional Writing currently going through the review process with the state of Connecticut.


Committees: University wide: Honors Council (1990-1996; co-chair 1992-94); Library Policy (1987-1990); accreditation committee on Public Disclosure and Integrity (1992); Marketing Committee (1998-1999); Chair of subcommittee of Ad-Hoc Library Committee on Swing Space, Fall 1993. Arts and Sciences: Planning Committee (1999-2002). Department: Journalism Award (1987-current); Advisement (1990-2000, chair 1991-1995); Writing Option (chair, 1991-1994); Undergraduate (1991-current, chair 1993-94); Department Evaluation Committee (1995-current, chair 1998-1999); Graduate Committee (1997-current); department curriculum revision committees (1999-2001). Advisor to the Echo (1992-present), Faculty Mentoring Program (2002-current).


Publications, exhibits, etc.


Trickster Tales, Fine Tooth Press, 2005.

Entangled Landscapes: Stories and Poems About the Mind in Nature. With James R. Scrimgeour. Pudding House, 2003.

Seven Life Lessons of Chaos. HarperCollins1999. Paperback 2000. With F. David Peat. German, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Portugese, Spanish editions. Currently 25,000 in print.

Fractals: The Patterns of Chaos. (Simon & Schuster, Touchstone, 1992). Selected, Quality Paperback Book Club, McGraw-Hill Book Club. German, Italian and UK editions. 74,000 copies in print in the US.

Metaphor, The Logic of Poetry. Revised edition (Pace Univ. Press, 1991). Originally The Logic of Poetry, published by McGraw-Hill as a textbook in 1974. Coauthored with Richard Monaco. Approximately 15,000-20,000 copies in print.

Turbulent Mirror: An Illustrated Guide to Chaos Theory and the Science of Wholeness. (Harper & Row, 1989). Coauthored with David Peat. Reissued in paperback by Harper & Row, 1990; published in French, German, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Greek, Chinese (separate mainland and Taiwanese translations), and UK editions; Book of the Month Club, Macmillan Book Club and Quality Paperback Book Club selection. Over 170,000 copies in print worldwide.

Fire in the Crucible: The Alchemy of Creative Genius. (St. Martin's Press, 1988; reissued in new edition by Jeremy Tarcher, 1989). Crucible released in a new edition Fall 2000 by Phanes Press. Author. About 30,000 copies in print.

Looking Glass Universe. (Simon and Schuster, 1984) Coauthored with David Peat. A Science Book Club selection, six printings; French, Japanese, Italian, UK and Spanish Editions. 20,000 U.S. copies in print.


Selected Book Chapters

  • "Where's The Poetry? Consciousness as the Flight of Three Blackbirds" in Dimensions of Conscious Experience, Paavo Pylkkanen and Tere Vadén, eds., Vol. 37 of the series Advances in Consciousness Research, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 2001.
  • "The Enemy is 'Us': Misconstruing the Real War in The Deer Hunter and other Post-Vietnam War Narratives," written with Kathleen Brady and Edward A. Hagan, in Dressing Up for War: Transformations of Gender and Genre in the Discourse and Literature of War, Aránzazu Usandizaga and Andrew Monnickendam, eds., Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001.
  • "Alice in the Mirror of Art" in Lewis Carroll's Lost Quantum Diaries, William Shanley, ed., Werner Locher: Frankfurt, 1998.
  • "The Balm of Irony," in Voices on the Threshold of Tomorrow, Boston: Quest Books, 1993.
  • "Nuance, Metaphor and the Rhythm of the Mood Wave in Virginia Woolf," in Virginia Woolf Miscellanies: Proceedings of the First Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, New York: Pace University Press, 1992.
  • "Ultimate Questioners: The Search for 'Omnivalent' Meaning" in The Search for Meaning: The New Spirit in Science and Philosophy, Paavo Pylkkanen, ed., Thorsens: Wellingborough, UK,1989.
  • "Reflectaphors: the (Implicate) Universe as a Work of Art" in Quantum Implications, Basil Hiley and F. David Peat, eds., London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987.
  • "This*Other-ness and Dreams" in The Variety of Dream Experience, Montague Ullman and Claire Limmer, eds., New York: Continuum, 1987. Published in paper by Crucible (Thorsons), 1989.
  • Poetry selection in New American Poetry by Richard Monaco (McGraw Hill, 1972).


Photo illustration for The Logic of Poetry and Seven Life Lessons of Chaos. Fractal photos will also be appearing in a collection Fractalist Art to be published in France, Jean-Claude Chirollet, ed. Work exhibited Alumni Hall, WCSU (Spring 2001), UConn Torrington (Spring 2001).


Selected Relevant Articles

  • Interview on Literature and Science, "Conversation with John Briggs," published in River Oak Review, No. 14, Spring 2000.
  • "Nuance and Omnivalence in the Creative Mind," Advanced Development, A Journal of Adult Giftedness, spring 1997.
  • "Chaos, Fractals, Aesthetics and the Environment," The Network, Winter 1994.
  • "Exploring the Potentials of Creative Dialogue," ICIS Forum, Spring 1994.
  • "Dialogue between John Briggs and Morris Berman on the Possibility of Social Creativity and Its Attendant Dangers in a Mass Society," Troisième Millénaire, Paris, Mar. 1994. Also appeared in the Spanish edition of this magazine. Berman, a social historian, is author of Coming to Our Senses and The Reenchantment of the World.
  • "Unholy Desires, Inordinate Affections, A Psychodynamic Inquiry into John Wesley's Relationship with Women," with John P. Briggs, M.D., Connecticut Review. Spring, 1991.
  • "Sweden's Clean Energy Boondoggle," with Lionel Bascom, in the investigative reporting magazine of Sweden, Scoop, Jan. 1, 1991.
  • "Quantum Leap," article on and interview with David Bohm on the physics of social change, New Age Journal, Sept./Oct. 1989. Excerpted for Wellness for Helping Professionals, Kendall Hunt, 1990 and Utne Reader, Spring 1991. Reprinted as a chapter in Discovering Common Ground, Strategic Futures Conferences for Improving Whole Systems, Marvin R. Weisbord, Ed. (Jossey-Bass, 1992)
  • "Interview with Reese Jenkins," Thomas A. Edison scholar and Director of The Edison Papers, Omni Magazine, April 1989.
  • "Beyond Stereotypes," on prodigy and talent, The World and I, Mar. 1987.
  • "Interview with David Bohm," Omni Magazine, Jan. 1987.
  • "Masks," transpersonal states induced by masking and metaphor, Science Digest, Nov. 1987. Reprinted in the Grolier Scientific Annual 1987.
  • "The Genius Mind," Science Digest, Dec. 1984. Reprinted in Royal Scientific Society and Squiblines, 1987.
  • "Unshrouding the Muse: The Anatomy of Inspiration," Artnews, April 1980.
  • "Creativity," cover article Northeast, Oct. 7, 1979.
  • "Some Thoughts on Consciousness, Language and Metaphor," The Academy, May 1974.
  • Published interviews with creators such as Richard Wilbur, Jorge Luis
  • Borges and W.D. Snodgrass; these interviews have appeared in New York Quarterly, The Craft of Poetry (Doubleday, 1974) and on air in "The Logic of Poetry" show which I hosted from 1976-79 on WNYC, New York.
  • Published short stories and poems have appeared in such publications as New American Poetry (McGraw-Hill, 1972), Northwest Review, River Oak Review, Iowa Review and Prairie Schooner. Recent short fiction in Parting Gifts; New Novel Review; Manifold; Ibis Review; Paragraph; Art Times; Pudding Magazine; The Connecticut Review and others.

Selected Relevant Lectures, Papers, Workshops Presentations

  • "The Forms of Music as the Forms of Nature." With Eric Lewis, International Conference on Beethoven's Creativity, School of Music, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.
  • 3-hour featured presentation on "The Role of the Unknowable in Education" for Education in the Third Millenium, a congress sponsored by UNESCO, the Organization of American States and Argentina's National Department of Education, April 2003.
  • "Nuance and the Complex." Workshop with Psychologist John Amoroso. The Graduate Institute. Sacred Heart University, Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2003.
  • "Fractal Time," featured presenter with psychologist John Amoroso at the Idea Festival, Lexington, Kentucky.
  • Reading at the Silo with poet James Scrimgeour of a joint collection of poems and stories entitled Landscapes in the Mind, Oct. 2002.
  • Presentation and workshop on "Chaos, Creativity and Leadership," University of Basel School of Economics, Basel, Switzerland, January 2002.
  • Co-organized international workshop on "The Role of Chaos in Social and Organizational Development, " Pari, Italy, March 2001.
  • Talk on "Learning to Love Chaos," for a Meet the Authors day sponsored by the Arts and Sciences Alumni Council, Sept. 2001.
  • Reading of fiction from Night Shaman Stories, Guild Arts Complex, Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 20, 1999.
  • "Disassembling Reality and Then Not Quite Putting It Back," talk for conference on Science and the Arts, DePaul University, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 20-24, 1999. Travel funded by conference and Illinois Humanities Council grant..
  • "The 'Enemy' is 'Us'" with Kathleen Brady (UConn) and Edward Hagan (WCSU), presentation (by Hagan and Brady) at a conference entitled, Dressing Up for War: Transformation of Gender and Genre in the Discourses and Literature of War, Barcelona, Spain, March 26-28, 1999. This paper was selected for a book collection of papers on the subject, forthcoming.
  • "Where's the Poetry?" presentation to a conference on The Varieties and Dimensions of Conscious Experience, Skovde Sweden, Oct. 10-12, 1997. Travel funded by conference.
  • Presentation at the World Congress on Violence and Co-existence, Dublin, Ireland, August 1997 of a paper entitled "War, Creativity, Misogyny and the Male Romance of Power" written with WCSU Prof. Edward Hagan and Kathleen Brady of the University of Connecticut.
  • "Chaos, Fractals and the Universe as a Work of Art," The College of Letters, Wesleyan University, Nov. 6, 1996.
  • Talk on the Aesthetics of Fractals and Art for the University System of Georgia Research Symposium, "Chaos Theory and the Arts and Humanities," Athens, Georgia, Feb. 29-March 1, 1996.
  • Day-long lecture-seminar, "Creatividad y Genio: De la Alquimia a la Ciencia," Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogatá, Columbia, July 23, 1993, for the University's program on "Scientific Investigation: an Interdisciplinary Vision."
  • Keynote lecture on "Wholeness in Nature Through Chaos Theory" for Clarke College (Dubuque, Iowa) 150th Symposium on Paradigms for the Future, Mar. 24, 1993. Travel funded by symposium.
  • "Fractals, Chaos and the Universe as a Work of Art," one of the Science, Technology & Society Lectures, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall downtown Portland, Oregon, Jan. 22, 1993. Travel funded by lecture series.
  • "Art, Science, and Spirit," literary metaphor, reflectaphors, chaos theory, quantum mechanics, black holes and Beethoven's Grosse Fugue, a presentation with Eric Lewis of the Manhattan String Quartet for WCSU symposium on "The New Age of Exploration: The Next 500 Years," Oct. 10, 1992.
  • "Virginia Woolf's Primordial Aesthetics": Virginia Woolf Summer Institute (Southern Connecticut State U.), June 1992.
  • "The Universe as a Work of Art": Interface (Boston), June 1990; Society for Layerists in Multimedia (San Antonio), June 1992. Travel funded by SLM.
  • "The Alchemy of Creative Genius": The Open Center (New York City) June 1989; Whole Health Expo, May 1990; Powell's Lecture Series (Portland, Oregon), Fall 1990. Travel funded by Powell's Book Store.


Selected Relevant Grants, Awards

Awarded the title of Connecticut State University Professor (Distinguised Professor), CSU Board of Trustees, 2000; AAUP Research Award (2000) to explore the Metaphor of Mathematics; AAUP Research Award (1991) of $3,317 for work on The Universe as a Work of Art; George Herbert Award for Poetry, from the World Order of Narrative Poets (1986); grant from Svensk Ortmedicinska Institutet to help organize and to participate in an international conference on Holism and the Crisis in Consciousness, Goteborg Sweden(1988); grant from the same organization for a conference on Meaning, Mind and Matter, Isle of Thorns, Sussex, England (1986); research fellowship from Lifwynn Foundation for study of the social significance of dreams (1977).

Listed in Gales Contemporary Authors; Who's Who in the World (Marquis); Who's Who in the East; Who's Who in American Education; International Authors and Writers Who's Who.

Professional Organizations: American Association of University Professors, The National Writers' Union, The Science and Medical Network, The American Society for Aesthetics.