NC Literary Hall of Fame



Antipsalm by Wayne Johns

Unicorn Press
$18.00, paperback / $25, hardcover / $35, special edition
ISBN: 978-0-87775-035-2
November, 2018
Available from the publisher

“Spooky, devastating, and ultimately tragic, Wayne Johns’ Antipsalm is as real a love story as you’re going to find. Its sinuous weave of story and song lures the reader to resurrect the fragments of a buried past: the object here is to rifle through drawers, study their remnant coins and photographs, leaf through old papers, and uncover, ultimately, the face of the beloved. I am so haunted by the beauty of these poems, my hair stands on end: Antipsalm pulls the ghosts from out the walls.”
—Cate Marvin, author of Oracle

“I‘m not sure if Wayne Johns is a master of or a slave to the elegiac mode. I do know that the poems in Antipsalm are religiously devoted to their search for proof that romantic love amounts to more than longing and that death isn’t the only possible end to such longing. Much has been said about the spiritual impulse in poetry, but Johns adds a fresh voice to that long tradition, and that voice sings with a singular resonance. What a brilliantly well-crafted and heartbreaking debut!”
Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition

Wayne Johns is the author of two chapbooks: The Exclusion Zone (winner of the Rane Arroyo Chapbook Prize) and An Invisible Veil Between Us (winner of the Frank O’ Hara Chapbook Award). His poems have appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, Image, Meridian, Prairie Schooner, and Best New Poets, among others. A Lambda Literary Emerging Voices Fellow in fiction, his short stories have appeared in Gaslight: Lambda Fellows Anthology and Every True Pleasure: LGBTQ Voices of North Carolina (UNC Press, 2019). He currently serves as a poetry editor for The Adroit Journal.

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