Jeffrey Johnson’s poems draw us into intimate relationship with earthbound life–birth, childhood, parenting, aging and death. In vivid, painterly and euphonious language, they evoke the natural world and the spirit that dwells within and beyond all flesh. Quiet and melancholic, alert and attentive, some of them seem almost like prayers. They will help you notice–come into the presence and feel–the power of life, in all of its ordinariness and splendor. Reading this book can be experienced as a kind of prayer.
-Richard Chess, author of Love Nailed to the Doorpost
In Stars Shall Bend Their Voices, some of the most respected living poets meditate on the role of hymns and spiritual songs in their lives and writing. Representing many spiritual traditions and many approaches to personal spiritual practice, Stars Shall Bend Their Voices is a testament to the lasting impact of spiritual music on many of today’s best poets. -Orison Books
In Harbors of Heaven, Jeffrey Johnson draws on biblical texts, his own memories of childhood in rural Minnesota, and the poetry of Wallace Stevens, Vassar Miller, William Carlos Williams, and others to explore our perception of place. This is a book about our attachment to places, from small and familiar corners of our childhood homes to faraway and imaginary lands. As creatures of the earth, we belong to, and feel at home in, certain places: rooms, homes, gardens, landscapes, countries. They are our places of rest and renewal, our vistas of inspiration, the motherlands to which we are true, the places we love and long for and that orient our lives in time and eternity.
Harbors of Heaven will provoke thinking and reflection about our relationship to the places of our lives, enriching our understanding and appreciation of their meaning and importance. -Cowley Publications
Acquainted with the Night is a study of death as it appears in the work of a handful of contemporary poets—Geoffrey Hill, Scott Cairns, Mark Jarman, R. S. Thomas, and Wendell Berry. The primary focus throughout is directed to the appearance of death, and to the physical and metaphorical darkness often associated with the thought of death, in their poems. Jeffrey Johnson’s commentary frames each poet’s work within observations by literary artists and critics, theologians, cultural critics, and scholars of religion, providing a Christian appreciation of each poet’s work within a context of tradition and circumstances. -Cowley Publications