Uncommon Prayer is a book about desire, and about the ways in which desire can and cannot be expressed, contained, or controlled by language. Invoking the structural organization of the liturgical hours, the calendar, and the alphabet, Uncommon Prayer explores how external forms might compensate for the incommunicability of human want―that is, how the parts of expression that aren’t found in dictionary definitions might help to make up for what our words never quite manage to express.
“This is poetry that can make a head hurt, but in the best ways.. . . The experience is disturbing and consoling, foolish and wise, and so many other seemingly opposite descriptors. It is compelling the whole way through and for a long time after.”
—David Thacker, Poetry Northwest
“A most welcome addition to this ongoing, probably neverending pursuit of what Eliot himself called ‘next year’s words.’’
— Mark Jarman, Hudson Review
Kimberly Johnson is a poet, translator, and literary critic. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker and Slate. She is the author of two previous poetry collections, Leviathan with a Hook and A Metaphorical God, and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Utah Arts Counsel, and the Mellon Foundation. She is Professor of English at Brigham Young University.
Paperback / $15.95 (Can $17.95) / ISBN 978-0-89255-447-8 / 62 pages / Poetry
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