Little Climates by L.A. Johnson


by L. A. Johnson

ISBN: 978-1-4951-5769-1
Softcover, 27 pages.

also available as eBook



SKU: 978-1-4951-5769-1 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,


The lyric poems of Little Climates address the divisions between the self and the world, the self and the lover, and self with the self. In her debut collection, L. A. Johnson examines of the disparate spaces humans occupy in relationships: together and separately, alone and as unit. Each partner’s past, how they’ve changed, how they dream of the present—these are the little climates.

“In Little Climates, L.A. Johnson’s elliptical lyrics glimmer with a gestural winter palette and an eerie baroque interiority. These elegant poems map the lavish and enigmatic ‘microclimates // in affection’: those moody regions of wounded intimacy. Silvery and elemental, allegorical and sonically rich, Johnson’s magnetic poems all point toward ‘that animal hunger for true north.'”
—Anna Journey, author of The Atheist Wore Goat Silk

“Reading L.A. Johnson’s Little Climates feels at times like entering a room in which some calamity happened years ago, or is about to occur. Here we find ‘scissors left by accident in bed,’ there ‘an orchid widowed on a shelf.’ Unrest lingers in the floorboards, in drifting dust motes, in the weight of the light. Despite this tension, Johnson is not an alarmist; her graceful and precise language is that of someone ‘shielded by ghosts / and shadow,’ someone who knows the way through. These poems are as mysteriously moving as they are insightful. It’s hard not to come away haunted by them.”
—Mark Bibbins, author of They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full

L. A. Johnson is from California. She is the author of the chapbook Little Climates (Bull City Press). She received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California, where she was a Provost’s Fellow. She is currently a Mellon Humanities and the University of the Future postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California.

Her poems have been awarded the 2022 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize, the 2022 Robert Watson Prize from The Greensboro Review, the 2021 Gregory Djanikian Scholarship from The Adroit Journal, and the 2021 Rumi Prize in Poetry from Arts & Letters.

Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, POETRY, The Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, and other journals. Her poem “Invented Landscape” was featured on The Slowdown, in which Major Jackson writes “[L. A. Johnson’s] poem articulates a resolute wish that many poets share, to reorder our consciousness toward beauty.”

She is a recipient of scholarships and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Community of Writers, Indiana University Writers’ Conference, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, and included on Narrative Magazine’s list of 30 Below 30.

She is the Assistant Poetry Editor at The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought. She is the current leader of the Wednesday Night Poetry Workshop at Beyond Baroque. Alongside Elizabeth Metzger, she curates the poetry reading series The Long Freeway: Poets Read Los Angeles.

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 5.5 × 8.5 × .25 in


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