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Tim Hawkins: Jeremiad Johnson
Jeremiad Johnson
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About this book

From the author
Film fans and those of my generation are probably familiar with the 1972 Sydney Pollack film, Jeremiah Johnson, starring Robert Redford as a mid-19th century trapper and hunter trying to survive in the harsh landscape of the mountainous North American West—a character based on an historical and semi-legendary figure with the imposing name of John “Liver-Eating” Johnson. It is one of the “old movies” my children didn’t want to watch, but quickly became a family favourite.

The historical “Liver-Eating” Johnson was known for eating the organs of his sworn enemies, the Crow, a habit the film chooses not to depict. Our 21st century Johnson is not known to be a consumer of enemy livers, but he is nonetheless filled with bile. Sporting a common surname, derived from every European language with a John, Jan, Jens, Johan or Johannes, this “son of John” is a very common kind of man trying to survive and make do in our contemporary society a century and a half after Jeremiah Johnson and more than two millennia after the original Jeremiah, “the weeping prophet,” of the Old Testament, who prophesied Jerusalem’s destruction and from whose name the term “jeremiad” derives.

These poems are Johnson’s bilious jeremiad, his prolonged lamentation, complaint, screed, rant, cautionary tale and harangue—by turns irascible, peevish, chastened and accepting. While “Liver-Eating” Johnson somehow survived into his seventies, the fictional Jeremiah Johnson, after making peace with the Crow, likely met his lonely demise fording a river in midwinter or in the crush of an avalanche. This century’s Johnson may suffer a heart attack in the company breakroom a week before his retirement or keel over shovelling snow from the end of his driveway. Hopefully his jeremiad will linger for a season or two.

Tim Hawkins
Tim Hawkins
Biography
Tim Hawkins lives with his wife and three children in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he works in communications in the health care and biomedical research industry. In his younger days, he worked his way through high school, college and after at a host of jobs including dishwasher, busboy, fry cook, waiter, bartender, landscaper, house painter, door-to-door canvasser, telemarketer, taxi driver, soap factory line worker, Alaskan fish cannery slime-table worker, stevedore, nose-hair clipper model and Taiwan cram school teacher. After graduating from University of Michigan, he worked his way around the world for the better part of two decades, studying the Spanish and Chinese languages and working as a journalist, technical writer, grant writer, adjunct professor and teacher in international schools.

To date, he has published well over 100 works of short fiction, non-fiction and poetry in more than 40 print and online magazines, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Best Microfiction, and served as preliminary judge for the 47th Annual Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition (2015) judged by Mark Doty. His poetry collection, Wanderings at Deadline, was published in 2012 by Aldrich Press. Find out more at his website:

www.timhawkinspoetry.com

Praise for Jeremiad Johnson
Tim Hawkins’ Jeremiad Johnson balances on the razor wire between natural beauty and disgust with the world as it has devolved to us. The hallowed and the tainted counterpose, and depending on the reader’s mood, what Hawkins reveals in his poems is a fortifying or merciless vision. Sometimes both.
Elizabeth Kerlikowske, author of The Shape of Dad, Last Hula, and Chain of Lakes; president of Kalamazoo Friends of Poetry and The Poetry Society of Michigan

In Jeremiad Johnson, Hawkins takes on the poetic voice of a common man surviving somehow in this world we all share together. This is deft observational poetry that escorts readers into the familiar and recognizable scenes that Hawkins paints for us with vivid imagery, touches of irony and subtle humility.
Barry Harris, editor Tipton Poetry Journal

Praise for Tim Hawkins' poetry
I have been most pleased to publish Tim Hawkins’ poetry alongside such distinguished writers as Les Murray and Janet Kenny. The true and authentic poetic voice... is one that will command great attention in the years to come.
Paul Stevens, editor of The Flea, The Chimaera, and Shit Creek Review, in a review of
Wanderings at Deadline
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