Brief Bio of John Perrault and Relevant Links



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John Perrault is a balladeer, poet, author, and song-writer.  Over the years he has performed his songs and poems in numerous venues throughout New England, including The New England Folk Festival, The Maine Festival, The Prescott Park Arts Festival, Chautauqua, Writers' Day for the New Hampshire Writers' Project, The Maine Writers Conference, The Seacoast Writers Conference, Passim, The Stone Church, and countless libraries, schools and coffee houses. He is the author of Jefferson's Dream, The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse, Here Comes the Old Man Now and Season of Shagginess. He was poet laureate of Portsmouth, NH, 2003 - 2005. 

 John presents various ballad, historical and musical poetry programs for libraries, historical societies, schools and other non-profit organizations.

"John Perrault is a welcome balm for the hectic pace of our 21st century society.  His poetry and lyrics, though contemporary, are grounded in a lyric tradition that is timeless.  The way he seamlessly weaves his ballads, his poems, and those of other writers who have inspired him makes each of his performances unique, vibrant, and stirring.  If you want to be moved, you will find a Perrault reading. Sit down and let him take you on a journey that you won't forget."    --Jennifer Franklin, Program Director, The Hudson Valley Writers' Center

Check out John's listing on Hedgehogs and Foxes: 

Check out John's listing on Brilliant Light:



Originally juried as a touring artist on the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Touring Roster, John is now a New England States Touring Artist.  New England sponsors are eligible for grants for programs by John through the New England Foundation for the Arts.  For information, visit the  Creative Ground site at: 

For specific NESTgrant information, go to: 



Poetry Publication Credits


Accent on Home and Garden, The Advocate, Amoskeag, Anemone, Bitterroot, Black Buzzard Review, Black River Review, Blue Unicorn, Borderlands (Texas Poetry Review), Braquemard (UK), Café Review, Candelabrum (UK), The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Compass Rose, The Comstock Review, Foster's Showcase Magazine, Gryphon, Hard Row to Hoe, Home Planet News, Hudson Valley Echoes, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Key West Review, The Legal Studies Forum, Lip Service, The Lyric, Mediphors, Mockingbird, Naugatuck River Review, Nahant Bay, Nedge, New Verse News, NH Bar News, NH Magazine, NH Gazette, NH Seacoast Sunday, New Stone Circle, No Exit, Northern New England Review, Oberon Magazine, Orbis (UK), Poet Lore, PoetPourri, Poet's Touchstone, The Portsmouth Herald, Potato Eyes, Puckerbrush Review, Red River Review, Riverrun, Roanoke Review, Rock and Sling, San Fernando Poetry Journal, Slant, Snake River Reflections, Snowy Egret, Soundings East, Spinning Jenny, Wallpaper, The Wild Bunch (Italy), Wings, Mobius: the Journal of Social Change, Better than Starbucks, Good Fat Poetry Zine, SpoKe, Aurorean, Hummingbird, Beltway Poetry Quarterly,The Road Not Taken, Constellations, Burningword Literary Journal, Grey Sparrow Journal


The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse (Peter Randall Publisher, 2003);
Here Comes the Old Man Now (Oyster River Press, 2005);  Jefferson's Dream (Hobblebush Books, 2009).

 Season of Shagginess, chapbook from Finishing Line Press (2022)



Legal Studies Forum (West Virginia University College of Law)
McArthur Library Poetry Anthology (McArthur Library, Biddeford, ME)
The Other Side of Sorrow (Poetry Society of New Hampshire)
Portsmouth Unabridged (Peter Randall Publisher)

The 2008 Poets' Guide to New Hampshire (Poetry Society of New Hampshire)

Dogs Singing (Salmon Poetry, Ireland); Piscataqua Poems, A Seacoast Anthology, Vol. 1&2, (RiverRun Select);Poet Showcase, an Anthology of New Hampshire Poets (Hobblebush Books); 3 Nations Anthology--Native, Canadian & New England Writers (Resolute Bear Press)


Recording Credits

Thief in the Night
New Hampshire
Tenants in Common
Country Matters
Before You Go
Rough Cuts
The Ballad of Louis Wagner

Jefferson's Dream

Rock and Root (2013)



The Best of The Mixed Bag Show (WUNH)
Seacoast Guitar Society's Songwriters Series, Vol. II
Crossroads Music Awards CD Sampler

JazzMouth II, Wire Radio

On the Rock, Star Island Benefit CD

Awards:  Virginia Prize from The Lyric for poem "Berry's Stone"; Finalist from CrossRoads Magazine for Rough Cuts CD;

Finalist from Comstock Review for poem "The Times"; Rosalie Boyle/Norma Farber Award from New England Poetry Club for

poem "Speed," Gold Prize for "African Burying Ground, Portsmouth, NH" & Silver Prize for "Ceres Bakery," Piscataqua Poems Anthology, V. 2.  


Film Appearances

The Ballad of Louis Wagner, University of NH Media Services (Gary Sampson/Dorothy Ahlgren) 1984

Mondays at Skimmilk:  30 Years of Writers at Work, (Ken Brown Productions) 2007


Selection of Library/Non Profit Venues That Have Presented Programs by John

York County Community College, Wells, Maine; Exeter Public Library, Exeter, NH;

Smyth Public Library, Candia, NH; Hampstead Public Library, Hampstead, NH;

Haley Farm Gallery, Kittery, Maine; Kittery Point Art Assoc., Kittery Point, Maine;

Southern Maine Library District Showcase, Brunswick , Maine; Elderhostel, U. of New England, Biddeford, Maine;
MASA Showcase, Sebasco Estates, Maine; Maine Festival, Brunswick , Maine;
Rumford Public Library, Rumford , Maine; Rice Public Library, Kittery , Maine;
R.W. Traip Academy, Kittery , Maine; Kennebunk Public Library, Kennebunk , Maine;
York Middle School , York , Maine; Prescott Park Arts Festival, Portsmouth , NH;
Chautauqua, Keene , NH; Chautauqua, Portsmouth , NH; Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth , NH;
Dover Historical Society, Dover , NH; Amherst Town Library, Amherst , NH;
Ashland Historical Society, Ashland , NH; New Castle Public Library, New Castle , NH;
NH Poetry Society, Manchester, NH; Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program, Portsmouth, NH;
Greenfield Woman's Club, Greenfield, NH; Jaffrey Library, Jaffrey, NH; Keene Public Library, Keene NH;
Goodwin Library, Farmington, NH; NH Writer's Project, Manchester, NH; Nashua Public Library, Nashua, NH; Weeks Library, Greenland, NH;   Durham Public Library, Durham, NH; Moultonboro Public Library, Moultonboro, NH; Isles of Shoals Historical & Research Association, Manchester, New Hampshire; Dublin Public Library, Dublin, NH; The Howe Library, Hanover, New Hampshire; Gilman Library, Alton, New Hampshire; 
Old Berwick Historical Society, So. Berwick, ME; Upper Pemigewasset Historical Society, Lincoln, New Hampshire; Sandwich Public Library, Sandwich, MA;  Winchester Historical Society/Sheridan House Museum, Winchester, NH; Elderhostel, Portsmouth, NH; Campton Historical Society, Campton, NH; JazzMouth, Portsmouth, NH; Effingham Public Libray, Effingham, NH; Mary E. Bartlett Libray, Brentwood, NH;

Barrington Public Library, Barrington, NH; Center of Optimum Learning, Raymond, NH; Great Bay eLearning  Charter School, Greenland, NH; Leach Library, Londonderry, NH; Goffstown Public Library, Goffstown, NH; Elysium Arts Folk Club, Rollinsford, NH; Hollis Public Library, Hollis, NH; Merrimack Public Library, Merrimack, NH; Silsby Free Public Library, Charlestown, NH; Belmont Historical Society, Belmont, NH; Amoskeag Mills Questers, Manchester, NH; Lee Church Congregational; Andres Instutute, Brookline, NH; Brookline Public Library, Brookline, NH; Hillcrest Retirement Community,

Manchester, NH; NH Court Reporters Assoc., Mt. Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH; Newbury Public Library, Newbury, NH; Elkins Public Library, Canterbury, NH; Olive Pettis Memorial Library, Goshen, NH; Lee Church Congregational, Lee, NH; Exeter Town Hall Gallery, Exeter, NH; Marlow Historical Society, Marlow, NH; Frost Farm, Derry, NH; Windham Historical Society, Windham, NH; Elks Hall, Rochester, NH; Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MA; Great Bay Community College, Newington, NH; Deerfield Coffeehouse, Deerfield NH; Somersworth NH Historical Museum; Writers in the Round, Isles of Shoals; Rochester NH Historical Society; Wolfboro NH Public Library; North Hampton NH Public Library; Wentworth Home, Dover, NH; Hampton NH United Methodist Church; UNE Gallery, Portland, ME; York Maine Art Assoc.; Moffatt-Ladd House, Portsmouth, NH; Concord NH Public Library; Wakefield, NH Historical Society; Chapin Senior Center, New London, NH; Turning Point, NE Social Studies Conference, 2013; New Castle Church, Parish Hall; Act One at West Studio Theatre, Portsmouth, NH; Pontine at West Studio theatre, Portsmouth, NH; Red & Shorty's, Dover, NH; Dover NH Public Library; SeaCoast African-American Cultural Center, Portsmouth, NH; Chichester NH Town Library; Exeter Coffeehouse, Exeter, NH; Rye Congregational Church, Rye, NH; Poetry in the Park, Nashua, NH; Hamilton-Wenham (MA) Public Library; Sunapee Community Coffeehouse, Sunapee, Lisbon, NH Historical Sociey; Amesbury Public Libray (MA); Derry, NH Public Library; Newmarket, NH Public Library; Salem, NH Historical Society; Holderness Historical Society; The Hudson Valley Writers' Center; Star 1 Gathering UCC Star Island; ArtSpace, Portsmouth, NH; Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk, ME; Durham Community Church, Durham, NH; Medallion Opera House, Gorham, NH; Rice Public Library, Kittery, ME; Weare Town Hall, Weare, NH; Whipple Free Library, New Boston, NH; Camp Calumet, Freedom, NH; Portsmouth Athenaeum; New Hampton, NH Historical Society   

Bob Moore, host of the First Friday Exeter Coffeehouse, writes:  

Musicians, poets, bringers of good cheer on a frosty New England New Year’s Eve:

Hello and welcome to the last day of 2013. Hope you’re ready to say farewell to the year in review. It is a good reason to celebrate whether they were fond memories or otherwise.  Wanted to let you know about our feature performer for this coming Friday. Many of you may already know about John Perrault’s music side and poetry side. John was the poet laureate of Portsmouth during 2003-2005. John’s songs and poetry are roots-oriented, earthy.  He loves to write about and celebrate stories of New England characters and historical figures. He is not hesitant to write about challenging subjects whether they frame a particular political view or shed light on a contemporary topic.  He actively challenges the spirit in us to consider those things that make us human.  John has a new collection of songs, some current, and some from older recordings entitled “Rock and Root”.

Below is more information about John’s music and poetry career:

Balladeer/Poet John Perrault presents an evening of ballads, lyrics, and fresh cross-grained songs focused on the art of paying attention:  to your neighbor, government, planet, self.  Drawing on a wide range of traditions, both oral and written, John’s selection of songs and poems promises to challenge the head and stir the heart. The program begins at 7:00 pm on January 3rd at the First Friday Coffeehouse, located in the First Unitarian-Universalist Society’s Parish Hall on Elm Street in Exeter, NH.  Former New Hampshire poet laureate, Marie Harris, says of John’s craft,“John Perrault’s ballads are a rare combination of poetry and grit.”