An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Desk on the Sea, Part 12

The Desk on the Sea begins four years after American poet Jonathan Johnson spread his mother’s ashes in her beloved Lake Superior and moved with his wife and young daughter into a seventeenth-century cottage on Scotland’s North Sea. On an idyllic, desolate coast and in the wild Highlands, Johnson began his search for a way to live through ongoing grief and to take in the wonder of each new day.

The Desk on the Sea is a chronicle of progress toward one man’s new life goal—to be a father, husband, and poet worthy of his mother’s legacy. Sustained by an unwavering belief that words can help us fully occupy our lives, and that imagination and empathy can transform suffering into what John Keats called "soul-making," Johnson offers readers a raw look at love and loss. The Desk on the Sea was published by: Wayne State University Press

Jonathan Johnson’s previous works include the poetry books May Is an Island; Mastodon, 80% Complete; and In the Land We Imagined Ourselves; the memoir Hannah and the Mountain; and the play Ode. His poems have been published widely in magazines, anthologized in Best American Poetry, and read on NPR. He teaches in the MFA program at Eastern Washington University and migrates between Washington, the Lake Superior Coastal town of Marquette, Michigan, and his ancestral village of Glenelg in the Scottish Highland where his cousins are still crofters.

Chris Maccini previously worked at SPR as Morning Edition host and producing arts and special programming such as The Bookshelf, Poetry Moment, Northwest Arts Review, special features and more.