Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1971.  She earned an M.A. degree at The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars in 1995, and an M.F.A. at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop in 1997.  She went on to complete a Ph.D. in English, with a specialization in Renaissance Literature, at the University of California-Berkeley in 2003.  Since 2003, she has taught Renaissance Literature and Creative Writing at BYU in Provo, Utah.  She lives in the Sugarhouse neighborhood of Salt Lake City.

Johnson is a poet, translator, and scholar of early modern literature.  Her fourth collection of poetry, Risk, is forthcoming from Persea Books.  She has also published book-length translations of major poems from antiquity, including the Georgics of Virgil, which was published as part of the landmark Penguin Classics series in 2009, and Hesiod’s two great poems of the 7th century BCE, Theogony and Works and Days, which were released in a single volume by Northwestern University Press in 2017.  With her spouse Jay Hopler, also a poet, Johnson edited Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry (Yale University Press, 2013) which surveyed the development of religious verse from antiquity through the present day.

Johnson has received awards and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  She has held visiting fellowships at the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah and at the American Academy in Rome.  Her scholarly work has been recognized with awards from the John Donne Society and the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association.

When she’s not in the classroom, Johnson can be found running, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, hiking, and camping in the mountains and deserts of Utah.


Poetry collections

  • Risk, Persea Books, forthcoming
  • Uncommon Prayer, Persea Books, 2014   
  • A Metaphorical God, Persea Books, 2008
  • Leviathan with a Hook, Persea Books, 2002