Ronald Johnson's underground classic of visionary and queer poetics, Valley of the Many-Colored Grasses, has been legendarily hard to find for over 50 years.
In this book of poems, Johnson creates a specifically North American vision that references everything from ancient Native American myths to Johnny Appleseed, from Charles Darwin to the Wizard of Oz, microcosmically transforming the vast open expanse of the plains into delicate flower petals.
These are poems of observation, transformation, and a uniquely subtle sensibility harmonically tuned to the stars. Masterfully crafted examples of poetic music and textures, Johnson weaves together texts to show the world from multiple angles of vision, not only his own, to explore what others have seen and experienced of the world.
One of the most unheralded poets in literature, Ronald Johnson needs to be securely placed in history with the likes of his fellow dreamers: Stan Brakhage, Marguerite Young, Charles Ives, Marsden Hartley, and the Transcendentalists.