John Biguenet has published nine books, including Oyster, a novel, and The Torturer's Apprentice: Stories, released in the U.S. by Ecco/HarperCollins and widely translated, as well as Silence and The Rising Water Trilogy most recently; six of his plays have been produced nationally. His work has received an O. Henry Award for short fiction and a Harper's Magazine Writing Award among other distinctions, and his poems, stories, plays, and essays have been reprinted or cited in The Best American Mystery Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Best American Short Stories, Best Music Writing, The Best of the Best, Contemporary Poetry in America, Katrina on Stage, and various other anthologies. His work has appeared in such magazines as The Atlantic, Esquire, Granta, Image, The New Republic, North American Review, Oxford American, Playboy, Southern Review, Spolia (Berlin), Storie (Rome), Story, The Sun, Tin House, and Zoetrope. Named its first guest columnist by The New York Times, Biguenet chronicled in both columns and videos his return to New Orleans after its catastrophic flooding and the efforts to rebuild the city.
Biguenet’s radio play Wundmale, which premiered on Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Germany's largest radio network, was rebroadcast by Österreichischer Rundfunk, the Austrian national radio and television network. Two of his stories have been featured in Selected Shorts at Symphony Space on Broadway, the Long Wharf Theatre, and elsewhere. The Vulgar Soul won the 2004 Southern New Plays Festival and was a featured production in 2005 at Southern Rep Theatre; he and the play were profiled in American Theatre magazine. Rising Water was the winner of the 2006 National New Play Network Commission Award, a 2006 National Showcase of New Plays selection, and a 2007 recipient of an Access to Artistic Excellence development and production grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the 2007 Big Easy Theatre Award for Best Original Play. Shotgun, the second play in his Rising Water trilogy, premiered in 2009 at Southern Rep Theatre, with subsequent productions at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and Florida Studio Theatre, both in 2010, and other theaters; it won a 2009 National New Play Network Continued Life of New Plays Fund Award and was a 2009 recipient of an Access to Artistic Excellence development and production grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Shotgun is published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Mold, premiering at Southern Rep Theatre in 2013, completed his trilogy of plays about the flooding of New Orleans. The trilogy has had over 25 productions and readings around the country and been the subject of articles in American Theatre, The American Scholar, and elsewhere; it was published as The Rising Water Trilogy by Louisiana State University Press in 2015. He was awarded a Marquette Fellowship for the writing of Night Train, which he developed on a Studio Attachment at the National Theatre in London and which premiered at New Jersey Rep Company in 2011. After performances at five new-play festivals and reading series, Broomstick won a National New Play Network Continued Life of New Plays Fund Award, premiering in an extended run at New Jersey Repertory Company in 2013 and going on to be produced at Montana Repertory Theatre, Southern Rep Theatre, Fountain Theatre (Los Angeles), and Artists Repertory Theatre (Portland). In 2008, Biguenet was named Theatre Person of the Year at the Big Easy Theatre Awards, the region’s major professional theater awards. He received the Louisiana Writer Award, the state’s highest literary honor, in 2012.
Having served twice as president of the American Literary Translators Association and as writer-in-residence at various universities, he is currently the Robert Hunter Distinguished University Professor at Loyola University in New Orleans.