Ronald Johnson was a poet little known until the end of his life. His work was admired by a small core of loyal readers. Staying away from the literary mainstream allowed him to pursue his poetic vision without the encumbrance of literary fame and the expectations that this entails. On the contrary, he lived his life doing what poets have done for centuries: reading, writing, walking, and looking.
What in his first book, A Line of Poetry, a Row of Trees, began as a series of collage poems visionaries of Kansas, his home state, he was transformed over the years into experiments with concrete poetry and poems informed by the energy projective verse. But the talent of Johnson was writing visionary epic poetry, made from carefully observed details and a thicket of intricate interwoven sounds, such as might be found in The Book of the Green Man, Radi years, and his masterpiece, ARK....read more