Poetry Night featuring Caroline Johnson and Tara E. Jay
Join us for a moving poetry night. Caroline Johnson’s first full-length publication, The Caregiver, includes 50 poems that were inspired by the 15 years she devoted to taking care of her aging parents. Midwest Book Review deemed it “very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Contemporary American Poetry collections.” Joining her will be UofM MFA candidate Tara E. Jay.
About The Caregiver by Caroline Johnson
“Heartbreaking and unforgettable, these poems confront the complex and difficult task of caregiving that requires control moderated with compassion. In unsparing language leavened with affection, Johnson speaks to those with aging parents as well as anyone facing illness or aging. An important book that takes on painful aspects with wisdom and a good heart.”―Joan Colby, author of Carnival and Ribcage, winner of 2015 Kithara Book Prize
The Caregiver is Caroline Johnson's first full-length publication. The gathering includes free verse, lyrical poems, prose poetry and some formal verse. Many of the poems won contests and have been previously published in online print journals and anthologies. The poems touch on the topic of grieving but go beyond and focus on the many difficulties a caregiver experiences―both emotional and physical―yet also recognize the spiritual gifts that come with helping a loved one. Caregiving is a significant issue for our times and will only become more important as our population ages.
Caroline Johnson observed both of her parents suffer crippling illnesses such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Rheumatoid Arthritis in the 15 years she spent as family caregiver. During that time she wrote poetry as a way to grieve and celebrate their lives. This book is the culmination of that effort. She has published two poetry chapbooks, My Mother’s Artwork and Where the Street Ends, and more than 70 poems. Her awards include winning the 2012 Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Poetry Contest, nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and prizes in state and national competitions. A former English teacher, she works as an academic advisor for a Chicago area community college. One of her favorite activities in the past was watching James Bond movies with her father, who served in the U.S. Air Force as a bomber pilot during the Cold War in the 1950s as part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). Please visit www.caroline-johnson.com.
Tara E. Jay is a poet and essayist from Indiana, currently living in the metro Detroit area, where she works as a bookseller. Tara recently earned her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. She is the editorial director of The Index, an imprint of Wolverine Press, a letterpress publisher and studio. Recent work can be found in Nashville Review, BOAAT Journal, Whiskey Island, The Journal, and elsewhere. She grew up in trailer parks.