Photo: Mike Geffner/InspiredWordNYC
Jerry T Johnson is a Poet and Spoken Word Artist whose poetry has appeared in a variety of literary publications worldwide. In addition to being the winner of the 2020 Evening Street Press’ Sinclair Poetry Prize, Jerry’s poetry has also appeared in: Burning Word Literary Journal, great weather for MEDIA 2017 & 2020 Anthologies, The Long Islander (Walt’s Corner), Straylight Literary Magazine, Here Comes Everyone (Silhouette Press), Drunk Monkeys Literature + Film Magazine, Barnstorm Literary Journal, Blue Moon Literary and & Art Review, Rimes of The Ancient Mariner Silver Tongued Devil Anthology, Brownstone Poets 2020 Anthology, Blue Lake Review, ANYDSWPE 2020 Anthology (RogueScholars Press), Beyond Words International Literary Magazine, and many more.
In addition to his published work, Jerry features and performs guest host duties at many Spoken Word and Poetry venues in the New York City and Southern Connecticut areas. Jerry also serves as host of the Poets, Writers & Storytellers Stage of the annual Norwalk Art Festival in Norwalk, Connecticut. You may follow Jerry’s work on the following social media networks: jtjohnpoet.com, twitter.com/jetjohn3 and facebook.com/jtjpoetry. Jerry lives with his wife Raye in Danbury, Connecticut.
2020 Sinclair Poetry Prize Contest Winner
Poets Should Not Write about Politics by Jerry T Johnson
Jerry Johnson’s new book, Poets Should Not Write about Politics, immediately undermines its title in seemingly innocent poems about daisies, bison, and kittens that hit hard in their love for America and their rage against her injustices. Musicality and rhythm reinforce this message in these poems, as in the poem “Trains” where they ground a voice that aches for a different world, even as it honors the beauties of this one: “…we find night has taken the helm/the crescendo climbs, the stars overcome the darkness/i overcome the darkness, my grief, the darkness of my soul/ and my train moves on and on and my train moves on and on.” This is a collection of longing and hope and passion. — Laurel S. Peterson Poet Laureate, Norwalk, CT, 2016 – 2019 Professor, English, Norwalk Community College
We land in this world, travel, leave, and yet, as Jerry T. Johnson examines in this engrossing collection, we cannot leave history behind. Through deft storytelling, he highlights the past and future and how art needs to move beyond pleasantries. The Jim Crow signs may fade, but the danger remains current. A thought-provoking and highly enjoyable book. — Jane Ormerod, writer and editor, great weather for MEDIA
In Poets Should Not Write About Politics, Jerry T. Johnson proves in the opening poem, and many of the poems that follow, exactly why poets need to write about politics. While many of the poems focus on politics in the broader sense of the word, in a gifted and challenging way, my favorite poems, including A Song Of Remembrance For Mama and I Dare Not Divulge, marry the personal with the political, in a way that’s deeply impactful and will linger with me for a long time. Yet there is joy here too, and laughter, a sharp turn of phrase surprising it out of me at unexpected times. — Caitlan Jans, Editor of Authors Publish Literary Magazine