978-1-68003-320-5 Paperback
5.5 x 8.5 x 0 in
105 pp.
Pub Date: 10/10/2023


  • Paperback $21.95
"Luke Johnson cements his title as the uncontested master of shadow... Quiver will change the way you see."
Patricia Smith, author of Unshuttered: Poems

Quiver is a rare creation full of song and scar, authenticity and Old Testament mythology, of emotional complexity and witness."
John Sibley Williams, Scale Model of a Country at Dawn

"The poems [in Quiver] are singing when they are stinging, scalding as they serve up something wildly fresh, slap after exquisite slap."
Elaine Sexton, author of Drive

"...a work of glorious complexity."
Ellen Bass

"...the most visceral, haunting book of poems I have read in years."
Lee Herrick, California Poet Laureate

Quiver is a book of reckoning, a book of ghosts, a book of lineal fracture and generational fatherlesness. It’s a visceral guide through boyhood into fatherhood. One that yields witness to trauma, erotic shames, brutalities and toxic masculinity, and in so doing, emerges with a speaker beginning to free himself. Patricia Smith said it best: “Quiver will change the way you see.”


Mother couldn’t manage
what sated me, so she prayed:
sought in silence
a substance that’d soothe,
something familial with grace.
I groaned. Broke bodies
over blacktop’s pane, a bottom-
less well of blood. At seven
I smothered a frog and fed each leg
to my quivering sister
laughed while she choked out its skin. At twelve,
I pulled a pistol from under
the vacant shed and shoved
its shudder to a schoolboy’s temple, teased 
while he wept in his piss.
And yet all along a Psalm, a satchel
of prayer: song. Mother making
contracts with the sky, while I
tore its pages to light a fire, warm
my hands around it. Radiant blue. Red
from a faraway pine.

Published by Texas Review Press