John Paul Brammer

The writer on advice columns, the need for options, and (maybe) seeing rainbow waves.


This Conversation is featured in Gossamer Volume Seven—the Touch issue— which starts shipping November 11. Pre-order your copy here.

One time when I was in high school, I heard someone pose the question, “If somebody shook you awake in the middle of the night and asked, ‘What are you?’ what would you say?” And I would probably say I’m a writer. That’s pretty all encompassing for me. I do other things. I do art. I’m a person, but at the end of the day, I’m a writer.

I went to a pretty rough high school. It had metal detectors. It had gang fights. It didn’t have enough textbooks. It didn’t have enough desks. The ceilings were falling apart. But it had a weirdly robust English department, of which my mom was a part. She was my freshman English teacher, actually. But we also had this teacher whom we called “Doc” because he had a PhD and that was extremely novel for us. Like, who has a PhD? That’s crazy.


Hypersensitivity has its drawbacks, but it also has its strengths.