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Red Summer


Poetry. RED SUMMER, Amaud Jamaul Johnson's haunting debut collection, explores a rash of race riots that swept the United States during the summer of 1919. With a tender lyrical quality, reminiscent of the blues, Johnson moves through trauma and personal catastrophe to champion the endurance of the human spirit: "Come, look at him, at all his goods,/ how his whole body becomes song,/ an aria of light, a psalm's kaleidoscope." "Johnson's RED SUMMER startles and impresses with its sheer range of vision, at one moment giving us a hushed, confessional poem, at another a poem of public, political consciousness"--Carl Phillips.

About the Author

Born and raised in Compton, California, Amaud Jamaul Johnson is the author of three poetry collections, Red Summer (2006), Darktown Follies (2013), and Imperial Liquor (2020). A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford, MacDowell Fellow, and Cave Canem Fellow, his honors include the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Dorset Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in The Best American PoetryAmerican Poetry Review, The New York Times Magazine, Kenyon Review, CallalooLit Hub, Narrative MagazineCrazyhorse, Indiana Review, The Southern Review, Harvard Review and elsewhere. Previously, he served as the Halls Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Arthur M. and Fanny M. Dole Professor of English at Pomona College. His most recent collection, Imperial Liquor, was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2021 UNT Rilke Prize.