by Julia Johnson
The poems of Julia Johnson's third book, SUBSIDENCE, speak on personal, geological, and metaphysical levels about subsidence, both as a concept and as a fact of the slowly dissolving American Gulf Coast. Richly lyrical and deeply felt, Johnson's complex but utterly engaging poetry will open up new areas of imagination and understanding in its readers. In it, scientia and poesis join in a language of memory and loss, vision and understanding. One finds oneself profoundly moved even as one takes a profound delight in the rich play of Johnson's language, in the acuteness of her observing eye and the music of her attending ear as her poems move through time and space from the Holocene to Pointe-aux-Chenes in 1876 to Isle de Jean Charles in 1976 to the poetic now. Her voice is uniquely her own, but what it says is open and welcoming and deeply valuable to us all.
Julia Mae Johnson grew up in New Orleans. Her first book of poems, Naming the Afternoon, was published by the Louisiana State University Press in 2002 and was the winner of the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award. The Falling Horse, was published by Factory Hollow Press in 2012. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Third Coast, Poetry International, Cake Train, Blackbird, Washington Square, Sentence, Isle: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and The Southern Poetry Anthology Volume IV: Louisiana (2012). She holds degrees from Hollins College in Virginia (B.A.) and from The University of Virginia (M.F.A.) where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. She is Associate Professor of English at the University of Kentucky where she directs the M.F.A. program in creative writing. Visit her website here.