John Brooks Wheelwright
Occupation poet
Nationality American
Writing period 1923-1940
Literary movement Modernism, Socialist

John Brooks Wheelwright (sometimes Wheelright) (9 September 1897 - 13 September 1940) was an American poet.


Wheelwright was descended from the 17th-century clergyman John Wheelwright on his father's side and the 18th-century Massachusetts governor John Brooks on his mother's side.

He studied at Harvard University and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology before practising as an architect in Boston. He was editor of the magazine Poetry for a Dime.[1]

He belonged to the poetic avant garde of the 1930s and was a Marxist, a founder-member of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party in the United States. He was bisexual.[2]

He died after being struck by an speeding car at the intersection of Beacon St. and Massachusetts Ave. in the early morning hours of September 13th, 1940.


  • North Atlantic Passage. Florence, Italy: privately printed, 1925.
  • Rock and Shell: Poems 1923-1933. Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1933.
  • Footsteps. Boston: Poems for a Dime, 1934.
  • Masque with Clowns. Boston: Poems for a Dime, 1936.
  • Mirrors of Venus: A Novel in Sonnets, 1914-1938. Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1938.
  • Political Self-Portrait, 1919-1939. Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1940.
  • John Wheelwright: Selected Poems (edited by R.P. Blackmur). Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1941.
  • Collected Poems of John Wheelwright (edited by Alvin H. Rosenfeld). New York: New Directions, 1972.


  • A History of the New England Poetry Club. Boston: privately printed, 1932.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. [3]


  1. Paul Christensen, 'Wheelwright, John (Brooks)', 20th Century American Literature, Macmillan, 1980, pp.619-620
  2. "American Writers on the Left",, 2002,, retrieved 2007-12-20 
  3. "John Wheelwright: Bibliography of Works," Modern American Poetry, University of Illinois,, Web, Jan. 15, 2012.

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