Ian Malcolm Johnson

Ian Malcolm Johnson headshot


Howdy y’all. I’m Ian Malcolm Johnson. I joked once that I was in fact named after the Jurassic Park character and my parents made furtive eye contact, so that’s my fun fact, maybe. I’m a junior from VA/NH/TX/NY in the math department. Inshallah and the creek don’t rise, I’m getting certificates in humanistic studies and creative writing.

I act a lot. I’ve been in shows with the department, with Intime, and with The Playwright’s Guild. There are more acting opportunities on this campus than I even have time to get rejected from.

I write. I’d done a few desultory pages of fiction before coming to Princeton, but I then I took an intro fiction writing class. You see, I’d never written much before because I’m dreadful, but the creative writing profs here are so engaged, generous, and caring with their critique that I’d feel like crap if I wasted their time by turning in crap. So even though CWR classes are P/D/F-only, I find myself rendering blood, sweat and ultimately producing something that might not suck. This is also how I got into non-fiction. Also also, I've found myself without experience or qualifications writing sketch comedy for The Playwright’s Guild’s biannual Troupe show and satire for a club that definitely doesn’t exist. Finally (I think), I’m in Arch & Arrow, a literary collective.

I sing in Trego. Badly, but enthusiastically.

Before coming to Princeton, I used to think that my inclinations toward art, math, and Jesus had to be kept entirely separate. I won’t get digressive and brochure-y, but basically: I’ve been encouraged to take mathematical ways of thinking into theology, to take Christian themes into art, and to do mathematical research with artistic sensibilities. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, but I’m now confident that I won’t be forced to abandon parts of myself.

I am particularly interested in folk music, inattention, dark humor, looking at the moon, OA, the Bible, etymology, Go, Appalachia, farce, and animals that don’t exist. If you want to talk about any of those things and/or theater, writing, and music at Princeton, hit me up. I’ll buy you a coffee. If you don’t like coffee, I’ll fill a cup with water and hand it to you.


Class of '22

Program in Creative Writing

Residential College


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