Invitation to event featuring J. Chester Johnson

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The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers
invites you to a reading and conversation with

J. Chester Johnson
Poet, Essayist, Translator

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
7:00 pm

The Culture Center

410 Columbus Avenue
(Between West 79th & West 80th Streets)
New York, NY 10024

Doors open at 6:30 pm | Talk begins at 7:00 pm

~ Refreshments before the reading & after ~


Focusing on his two books published in 2017, Chester Johnson will read selections from Now and Then, his new poetry collection, and discuss Auden, the Psalms, and Me, the story of his experience working with W. H. Auden on a retranslation of the Psalms.

J. Chester Johnson’s writings have been published domestically and abroad and translated into several languages. In 2010, the second edition of St. Paul’s Chapel & Selected Shorter Poems (St. Johann Press) was published, about which Major Jackson said, “Undoubtedly, this is a work headed for literary permanence.” The signature poem from this volume serves as the memento card at St. Paul’s Chapel, which was the relief center for the recovery workers at Ground Zero in New York City. In early 2017, a companion volume, Now And Then: Selected Longer Poems, was published (St. Johann Press): “It provides its readers with the same amplitude of intelligence, passion and formal achievement as our great American epics–Melville’s Moby Dick, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and Ginsberg’s Fall of America,” wrote Lawrence Joseph of this collection. W. H. Auden and Johnson were the two poets on the drafting committee for the retranslation of the psalms contained in the current Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church; this retranslation has become a standard. Johnson’s book, Auden, the Psalms, and Me, the story of this retranslation, was published by Church Publishing of the Episcopal Church in September 2017. Auden’s literary executor and principal biographer, Edward Mendelson, says of this book: “J. Chester Johnson tells a remarkable and illuminating triple story.” Johnson has also written about the American Civil Rights Movement. In addition to his literary career, he owned and ran his own public finance firm for several decades; during the Carter Administration, Johnson served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department. Elizabeth Powell, Editor-in-Chief of Green Mountains Review, has called J. Chester Johnson “one of our country’s literary gems.”