NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- J. Chester Johnson has lived multiple lives. He is a critically-acclaimed poet, essayist and translator of over four decades. He has also been very active in the civil rights movement, served in President Jimmy Carter's Treasury Department, had a distinguished career in public finance, and played a major role in the retranslation of the Psalms contained in the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. In his just-released work – and perhaps one of his most significant, non-fiction works – Auden, the Psalms, and Me (Church Publishing, Trade Paper, ISBN: 0898699649), Johnson takes readers behind-the-scenes of the major issues weighed during a massive literary and liturgical undertaking of twelve years: a psalm retranslation that originated in 16th century England and still influences millions of faithful followers today. The reader also discovers touching insights into the life and mind of W.H. Auden, who along with Johnson, were the two poets for this historic endeavor.
"Johnson tells a remarkable and illuminating triple story: the story of the English psalms in the past and present, the story of W. H. Auden's profound engagement with the language of the psalter, and the story of Chester Johnson's engagement with Auden, the psalms, and the church," notes Edward Mendelson, the principal biographer for W. H. Auden.
For Johnson's service to the Episcopal Church, he received a special citation from the Church's Standing Liturgical Commission. He also authored the Litany of Offense and Apology in poetry and prose for National Day of Repentance (October 4, 2008) when, with the Presiding Bishop officiating, the Episcopal Church formally apologized for its role in transatlantic slavery and related evils.
"While numerous critics and writers do not realize or acknowledge it, Auden held a deep love for and spiritual commitment to the Anglican and Episcopal Churches and the Book of Common Prayer – similar to my own," reveals Johnson. "Indeed, I was fortunate to share with him, to some extent for a time, that love and commitment."
Auden, the Psalms, and Me concludes a story cycle that involves ancient poems, Elizabethan English, a very famous poet, a young poet's role in an historic labor of love, and the immense struggle to reconcile time, eternity, and word.
Johnson's prior book is the acclaimed Now and Then: Selected Longer Poems. For more information, please consult: www.jchesterjohnson.com
Contact: MEDIA CONNECT
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SOURCE J. Chester Johnson