Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson

Professor, English

4144 JFSB



English 337: History of the Sonnet
T/Th 1230-145
English 669: Graduate Poetry Workshop
T 4-7
Office Hours
T 145-4


Kimberly Johnson teaches courses in creative writing and in Renaissance literature. In both fields, her primary interest lies in lyric poetry. In critical work on the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century lyric, she has explored issues of form, aesthetics, and religion, and the intersection of these concerns in the literature’s cultural context. Her own poetry negotiates many of these same ideas as it confronts the limits of representation. She tries to impress upon her students the urgency of being accurate and specific, both as writers and as critics. Johnson has received awards and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Utah Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her current projects include a scholarly examination of lyric poetics and a fourth collection of poetry.


Literary Criticism:

Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014)


Fatal (Persea Books, 2021)

Uncommon Prayer (Persea Books, 2014)

A Metaphorical God (Persea Books, 2008)

Leviathan with a Hook (Persea Books, 2002)


Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days (Northwestern University Press, 2017)

Virgil’s Georgics: A Poem of the Land (Penguin Classics, UK 2009 and US 2011)

As Editor:

Editor, Poetics/Praxis (special issue of Christianity & Literature, 2019)

Co-editor (with Jay Hopler), Before the Door of God: An Anthology of the Devotional Lyric (Yale University Press, 2013)

Co-editor (with Michael C. Schoenfeldt and Richard Strier), Divisions on a Ground: Essays in Renaissance Literature in Honor of Donald M. Friedman (2008)

Editor, John Donne’s Complete Sermons: The Electronic Archive (, 2005)


Poetry, translations, and critical essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Slate, Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Milton Quarterly, Modern Philology, and PMLA.


MA, Johns Hopkins University, 1995; MFA, University of Iowa, 1997; PhD, University of California Berkeley, 2003    


Poetry and poetics, poetic theory, lyric, Renaissance literature, classics, history of theology