miami university


Wind Somewhere, and Shade


Kate Knapp Johnson

2001. 1-881163-33-4 / 1-881163-34-2

Wind Somewhere, and Shade book cover

Out of Print

This is a book laden with the details — “the radiant details” — of being caught here, in this time on this earth. The poems move in tone and form from the epogrammatic to the ironic and back to the pure lyric. Still, they are one book and tell one story of the self that was lost in childhood being sought out. In her third book of poems, Kate Johnson once again demonstrates her control, her commitment to clarity, and her large capacity for truth-telling. What sets this book apart, though, are its theological underpinnings. Johnson adamantly refuses to let irony take the usual slide into nihilism. With equal resolution, she won’t tolerate simplistic answers. Here, the paradoxes of grace and loss remain paradoxes. There is a hint of redemption through relatedness, but Johnson’s “God” is not the “Thou” in Burber’ I and Thou; He is the “and” which gives us, repeatedly, through the dilemma of human isolation and intimacy: “each gift / ravishes, and restores in us / what will also be broken again / and again. Lord...”

“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