Amaud Jamaul Johnson
Influenced by Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde, and Robert Hayden, Johnson’s poems combine narrative and lyric to explore the roots of violence and desire. In conversation with poet Douglas Kearney for the Boxcar Poetry Review, Johnson discussed the connection between his poetry and his prior work as an archivist. “I fell in love with things like receipts or shopping lists,” Johnson acknowledged. “It was ephemeral, but I think our lives, our personal histories are made up of the accumulation of junk. When I write I’m trying to bring those things to the surface.… I guess that makes my work restorative.”
Johnson is a graduate of the Cave Canem workshop and a former Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He has received scholarships from the Hurston/Wright Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
Johnson teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.