by William Johnson

Bill Johnson’s poems recreate his world in the Pacific Northwest, where . . . [he] pledges his allegiance to the indescribable joy we find in creation. He uses even the most homely objects in his poems . . . to embody the past and unite it with the present. By doing so, he leads us . . . along the path to love and redemption.

— Jim Hepworth


In this collection, Idaho’s former State Writer-in-Residence reflects upon the natural world outside his home in Lewiston, Idaho—the wildlife refuges, the Clearwater River, the Palouse, a dogwood tree in his yard, Buddhism and back roads. With awe and reverent regard, these poems explore the tensions and attractions between the natural and human worlds — the ways in which we are apart from yet a part of nature — and the need to live this paradox through in everday life. johnson

A Pacific Northwest native, William Johnson is a Professor Emeritus of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston. He’s the author of the critical work What Thoreau Said: ‘Walden’ and the Unsayable (University of Idaho Press, 1991) and the collection of poems Out of the Ruins (Confluence Press, 2000). He has won fellowships from the Idaho Humanities Council, the Idaho Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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