Kimberly Johnson

1971 –

Kimberly Johnson was born on January 9, 1971 in Salt Lake City and holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD in Renaissance literature from the University of California at Berkeley.

Johnson is the author of three poetry collections: Uncommon Prayer (Persea Books, 2014); A Metaphorical God (Persea Books, 2008); and Leviathan with a Hook (Persea Books, 2002).

In her review of A Metaphorical God, Lisa Russ Spaar writes, “Johnson’s poems adopt a number of their forms from mystical or sacred texts—psalms, divinations, odes, hymns, spells—but her settings are as earthbound as her own scorched backyard garden or the driver’s seat of a white pickup careering down a highway during a thunderstorm.”

A literary critic and translator as well as a poet, Johnson is also the author of Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days (Northwestern University Press, 2017); Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014); Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry (Yale University Press, 2013), edited with her spouse, Jay Hopler; and a translation of Virgil’s Georgics (Penguin, 2011).

Johnson is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Utah Arts Council. She teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She lives in Salt Lake City.