Prizewinner of "not_chosen " in 2020

Charles H Johnson

Charles H. Johnson is a 2019 Honorable Mention award winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, a second-place winner of the 2013 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards and the winner of the 2011 New Jersey Poets Prize for his poem “Leaving.” A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he received the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize for Literary Excellence for his third book Smoke Signals. He also was a first-place winner of the 1998 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards and has been an arts high school poetry instructor and poetry adjudicator for the New Jersey Teen Arts Festival. His website is: www.charleshjohnsonpoet.net

Finalist for the 2020 Helen Kay Chapbook Contest

THE TIME TRAVELER by Charles H. Johnson moves so quickly through deep flashes of a life that you want more . . . more. Each poem takes you in and leaves you with a slice of time from a clearly formed/informed fragment from a life well lived. The first poem sets the poet on a unique course that is bolstered by every other poem that follows, where at five, the speaker refuses to vacate his turf: “I’d held firm by defining my / Right-of-way even when outnumbered.” And so in war, school, work, family life, marriage, career, writing, or just doing his thing, this poet brings clear messages about race, faith, and earnestness, and how being a citizen in a country that has historically not always been fair or generous to all can still somehow nurture strength of character. —Dennis H. Lee, author of Tidal Wave

Charles H. Johnson’s THE TIME TRAVELER looks unflinchingly at race and identity through brave and personal poems. These minimally punctuated poems intimately reflect experiences throughout a lifetime, including growing up in the 50s and 60s, serving as an infantry platoon commander in the Vietnam War, and maneuvering through the changing and challenging landscape of race in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Time Traveler speaks across generations to explore race and individual freedom in a way that is conducive to examination of the current times, the historical, and the personal past, and to consideration of the views and policies of the country and how they have impacted all of its citizens.—Donna J. Gelagotis Lee, author of Intersection on Neptune and On the Altar of Greece

Charles Johnson’s THE TIME TRAVELER is an exploration of the after-effect of service in the Vietnam war as well as of African-American life and history in the 20th and 21st centuries. This is a delicately nuanced book that is unafraid to tell the truth about prejudice and violence so deeply ingrained in American society. These are poems of a good man who is trying to understand his own life and experience and to have us also understand. Wonderful! –Maria Mazziotti Gillan American book award winner Artist website mariamazziottigillan.com Poetry Website: mariagillan.com Poetry Blog: mariagillan.blogspot.com

In this unforgettable little book, we meet a hurt kid who grows up black in white America. That kid becomes a man determined not to repeat a past that keeps happening.  Charles H. Johnson’s poems in THE TIME TRAVELER set us free to join him in the fight against the sin of American racism, from “a piece of Africa led chained / Across a Carolina auction block,” to the forces that continue to perpetuate “the Confederacy when it tried / And failed to unravel the United States.” —Sander Zulauf, Editor emeritus, Journal of New Jersey Poets

Read poems: The Time I Felt What My Mother Saw    156, The Time I Bounced Just Below the Clouds    156, The Time I Ate an Outdoor Rooftop Dinner    157, and The Time I Couldn’t Keep Quiet    157 Evening Street Review, NUMBER 23, Spring 2020

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