July 24 – 28, 2024

Jim Johnson will read and talk about his poems.

Presenter Bio: Jim Johnson is a writer with a varied background was the 2008-2010 DULUTH POET LAUREATE, an achievement that occurred in the midst of his 30 plus years in the Duluth District schools where he would also teach a continuing education course about writing family history. His poetry features world of Finnish immigrants and their families. The titles of poems (i.e. Log House, Black Spruce, and The Color of Eggs) in Johnsons book, The Co-op Label, speak to the arrival of his parents and grandparents in this country. One poem, The Statue of Liberty Soliloquy, addresses immigration directly: Give me your poor, your mouth breathing, your drooling/Give me your tired masses/I have floors to clean, tables to set, guests to feed/Give me preferably your Scandinavians. Other works, like A Field Guide to Blueberries, feature Johnson’s Finnish love of natural world and concern for the environment. Additionally, he practices a Finnish sense of wry, self-deprecating humor. His published books include: Finns in Minnesota Midwinter (North Star Press, 1986), A Field Guide to Blueberries (North Star Press, St. Cloud, 1992), Wolves (winner of the Minnesota Voices Award, New Rivers Press, 1993), Dovetailed Corners with Marlene Wisuri (Holy Cow! Press, 1996), and The Co-op Label with Marlene Wisuri (Dovetailed Press, 2005).