miami university


The Perfect Life


Kate Knapp Johnson

1993. 1-881163-04-0 / 1-881163-05-9

The Perfect Life book cover

Out of Print

This Perfect Life follows an original, humorous grave quest ‘into the world of flesh’: a quest for silence, for opening to the spirit’s plenitude, the body’s plenitude.”
—Jean Valentine

“What I love about this luminous book is its courage, its wit, and its unrelenting honesty, but most of all I love the almost spiritual joy at its center, the calm there, the generosity, the strength.”
—Thomas Lux

“Kate Johnson’s gift is to make the inner life so clear and concrete as to fix a self to the page. She confronts suffering without erasing the possibility of love, or denying the presence of joy. Distilled and direct, plain and mysterious at once, these poems involve us in moments in the work of soul-making.“
—Mark Doty

“Oh, where have we been exiled from—our families? Ourselves? The source of our spirit? Kate Johnson’s voice calls out from the wilderness of right here—the wounded self surviving, human, ever asking to be healed. This poetry is both prayer and the grace it prays for: clear, rigorous, and infused with a love of this world where ‘we can't even see what it is we see by.’”
—Marie Howe

About the Author

Photo of Kate Knapp JohnsonKate Knapp Johnson is the author of three collections of poetry, Wind Somewhere, and Shade, When Orchids Were Flowers and This Perfect Life. A recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, Johnson teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and is in the training program at The Westchester Institute for Psychoanalysis. She lives in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., with her husband and children.

Author Photo by: Richard A. Restiano