John W. Love, Jr. — The Perpetually Pregnant Man: On Life and Meaning

John W. Love, Jr.John W. Love, Jr. is a surreal apparition of a being who creates multi-sensory experiences that invite participants into a world of Yes.  He is an interdisciplinary literary and performance artist.  His work is as ‘deliciously complex, circuitous, textual, and contextual as his own nappy hair.’  He tells stories that are earthen and fantastical.  His installations delight and confound.  He smears boundaries because ‘definitions all fit like a fat man in a toddler’s big girl dress.’  John is a poet, an actor, a dancer, a sculptor, a director and a teller of tales.  In his stories characters burn blue.  He is a recipient of the Arts & Sciences McColl Award in recognition of artistic excellence and a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist residency.  He is a North Carolina Artist Council Fellow and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow.  His work had brought him to places around the world.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in the life-affirming funkiness of a daring interdisciplinary mind and the intentions and expressions of a love warrior mystical being.

In This Episode
In This Episode


  • John shares the beautifully absurd and the wonderfully ridiculous nature of defining himself and his objection to lines of demarcation.
  • He discusses the elements that make up his art and the influences of his meditative practice on his performances and installations.
  • He explains what he means by ‘rescuing narrative.’
  • He describes one of his signature performance and installation works and the role salt played in it and the return of all things to the Source.
  • John talks about several of his characters from Neequa or She Who Would be King to Roscoe ‘The Eggplant’ Takimoto to The Perpetually Pregnant Man.
  • He explains the world of Yes, the correct posture for living, and when ‘no’ is appropriate.
  • He responds to the idea that he and his characters are intertwined.
  • He shares whether the responses of others to his work matters to him.
  • John talks about how much of his art is flirtation, how much is consummation, and the sensuality of his work.
  • He reflects on the rewards and constraints of fellowships and recognitions, the yumminess of his applications, and what he refuses to do as an artist seeking support.
  • He reacts to what makes anything art and the power he sees in his own work.
  • John shares what Meryl Streep, Bill T. Jones and Bjork have in common.
  • He describes himself as a young person and what his younger self would recognize and be surprised by his current self.
  • John reads a poem of his called ‘Early Morning Ritual.’
  • He responds to rapid-fire questions that he composed that reveals the temperature of his mind, what makes him cry, and the sexiest tool in his arsenal.

Mark Peres adds a personal word that begins this way, “When I hear John recite his poetry, I’m drawn back to my senior year in college standing on stage afraid…”

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