By Aaron Hopkins-Johnson
Lawn Gnome Publishing Original
Chainsawsmoking author Aaron Johnson likes pinball machines, shortbread cookies, graphic novels, and skateboard competitions. However, Aaron is most likely to found at a poetry slam or rock show, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.
As a young teen, he worked at Arby’s. It was here that he saw a lefthander chop off his thumb in a roast beef slicer. Being a lefty too, Aaron was permanently scarred for life and began writing and performing poetry.
Accomplishments 2000 – 2009
2001 International Poetry Interpretation Champion.
2002-2005 studied communication theory and English at Northern Arizona University. Participated and coached award-winning speech and debate team.
2004 Founded Boardwalk Open Mic, Published “Irony Stinks” chapbook.
2005 Published “Watering the Poetry” chapbook, first year participating in the National Poetry Slam.
2006 Arcosanti Haiku Champion, Founded Applesauce Teahouse Monday Night Open Mic, Southwest Shootout Regional Slam Director.
2006-2007 Assistant Executive Director of a poetry outreach non-profit organization (NORAZpoets) alongside Christopher Lane.
2007 Founded Treetop Poetry Regional Poetry Slam, Published “Rights4Lefty” graphic poetry zine, Flagstaff IWPS Champ, 4/20 Spoken Word Showcase promoter (alongside Christopher Lane Logan Phillips, Buddy Wakefield, Derrick Brown, and Saul Williams), Recorded “Spread Your Arms” album (alongside Michael Pearson of River Cain Productions), Founded Strip Poetry Tour (alongside Joseph Nieves).
2008 finalist on www.famecast.com, formed musical act “Spoken Circus” (alongside Megyn Neff and Marykate Glenn from The Bears and The Bees), Phoenix Grand Slam Champion, Phoenix IWPS Champ.
2009 Published “Chainsawsmoking” chapbook, KABAM Book Festival Featured Author (alongside Conrad Storad and Earlene Fowler), NPS Semi-finalist (alongside Ed Mabrey, Myrlin Hepworth, and The Klute).
Accomplishments 2010 – 2017
2010 KABAM Book Festival Featured Author (alongside Obert Skye, Chris Gall, and Ellyn Maybe), First Friday Night Live Writing Staff and Promotion, founded Pink Slip Poetry Slam.
2011 KABAM Book Festival Author (alongside Diana Gabaldon), host for Encyclopedia Show: Arizona; featured panelist at Horas de Junio in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; First Friday Night Live Writer; founded www.lawngnomepublishing.com
2012 KABAM Book Festival Author (alongside Michael C Ford, Jim Turner, and Gary Harbo), Opened LAWN GNOME PUBLISHING & BOOKSTORE in the Downtown Phoenix Arts’ District; awarded the Public Art Grant from The City of Phoenix Arts & Culture Department; edited zines for The Cult Of The Yellow Sign, Urban Camper’s Guide to Surviving Phoenix, Lauren Perry’s Horror Couture, The Klute’s Not For Export; founded Phoenix Poetry Slam; found Yarnball Storytelling.
2013 found PEP Rally, a variety show aimed at combining poetry, storytelling, music, dance, comedy, and academic lectures to create a metaphorical and holistic look into a very specific topic. Lawn Gnome Publishing won Best Bookstore from Phoenix New Times, Phoenix Magazine, and Modern Times.
2014 Aaron Hopkins-Johnson hosted the Individual World Poetry Slam in Phoenix, AZ.
2015 Lawn Gnome Publishing was mentioned on Buzzfeed and Sunset Magazine.
2016 Aaron Hopkins-Johnson transferred Lawn Gnome Publishing into a Limited Liability Corporation.
2017 Aaron Hopkins-Johnson released ebook versions of his entire body of work to date.
Aaron has performed in theatres, bars, poetry slams, high schools, universities, art galleries, comic book stores, street corners, book stores, living rooms across all 48 continental states.