Piatt was born in James Mill (now Milton), Indiana. At 14 he was apprenticed to the Ohio State Journal to learn the printing trade. Subsequently he studied at Capital University and Kenyon College, but did not graduate.
On June 18, 1861 he married Sarah Morgan Bryan, also a poet.
He was appointed a clerk in the U.S. Treasury Department in 1861, and served there for 6 years. In 1867 he moved to Cincinnati, where he worked for the Chronicle and Commercial newspapers. He returned to Washington in 1870 and served in the House of Representatives, initially as enrolling clerk and, after 1871, as its librarian.
He is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati.
- Poems of Two Friends (with William Dean Howells). Columbus. 1860)
- The Nests at Washington, and other poems (by Sarah & John James Piatt). New York & London: Samson Low, 1864.
- Poems in Sunshine and Firelight. Cincinnati, OH: R.W. Carroll, 1866.
- Poems. Cincinnati, OH: R.W. Carroll, 1868.
- Western Windows, and other poems. New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1869; Boston: J.R. Osgood, 1877.
- The Pioneer's Chimney, and other poems. Cincinnati, OH: Carroll, 1869.
- Landmarks, and other poems. Boston: J.R. Osgoon, 1871; New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1872
- revised & expanded as Landmarks, The lost farm, and other poems. Boston: J.R. Osgood, 1878.
- Poems of House and Home. Boston: Houghton Osgood, 1878.
- Idyls and Lyrics of the Ohio Valley. Cincinnati, OH: W.D. Dibble, 1880; London: Kegan Paul, 1884: Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1888; London & New York: Longmans Green, 1893.
- At the Holy Well, with a handful of new verses. Cincinnati, OH: R. Clarke / Dublin: M.H. Gill, 1887.
- A Dream of Church Windows. London: Elliot Stock, 1888.
- A Book of Gold, and other sonnets. London: Elliot Stock, 1889.
- The Lost Hunting Ground, Little new-world idylls, and other poems. London & New York: Longmans Green, 1893.
- The Ghost's Entry, and other poems. Westminster, UK: Constable, 1895.
- Odes in Ohio, and other poems. Cincinnati, OH: R. Clarke, 1897.
- Lares Emigrantes. Three Rivers Elm, North Bend, OH: John Scott, 1906.
- A Return to Paradise, and other flyleaf essays on town and country. London: Elliott Stock, 1890.
- Learning Prayers. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1867.
- The Children Out-of-Doors, by Two in One House (by Sarah & John James Piatt). Cincinatti, OH: Robert Clarke, 1887.
- George D. Prentice, Poems. Cincinnati, OH: R. Clarke, 1876.
- The Union of American Poetry with Art: A choice collection of poems by American poets. Cincinnati, OH: W.E. Dibble, 1882.
- The Hesperian Tree: An annual of the Ohio valley. Cincinnati: George C. Shaw, for the editor, 1900-1903.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 John James Piatt, Find a Grave, October 21, 2011. Web, Oct. 7, 2018.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 John James Piatt, Appleton's Encyclopedia, Virtual Biographies, FamousAmericans.net. Web, Oct. 7, 2018.
- ↑ Search results = au:John James Piatt, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Oct. 8, 2018.
- John James Piatt at PoemHunter (8 poems)
- John James Piatt at AllPoetry (8 poems)
- John James Piatt at Poetry Nook (16 poems)
- John James Piatt at Amazon.com
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