Ludlow teacher publishes book of poetry


Dr, Johnson, English teacher, poses with his new book of poetry.

Cub Staff

Ludlow High School teacher, E. A. Johnson, plans to donate a portion of the profits for his new book to organizations that help teens struggling with self-destructive thoughts. His new book, Transitions – A Story in Verse, deals with the difficulties today’s youth face growing up in the modern world. Addressing topics like bullying, addiction, abuse, loss, and suicide, the book shows that hope exists in the darkest moments of our lives. 

Transitions, a collection of 59 poems, tells the story of a high school freshman who finds himself in that awkward stage between middle and high school, a difficult time for anyone. He begins to understand what it means to live in the modern world. Between navigating life both in school and online, his family begins to crumble around him, and what he once relied on becomes what he fears. As the struggles at home and school pile up, he begins to lose the tenuous support system he has until he believes there is nothing left. 

When he thinks he’s lost everything, the only things left are self-destructive urges. After finding his father’s pain pills, he thinks he finds a way out of his pain. Instead, he discovers that when everything looks like the end, if you hold on just a little longer, you might find a new beginning.

Along with the darker topics, the collection explores the depths of love and support that surround us even when we think we’re alone—leading to the conclusion that even in the darkest moments of our lives, there is a way back to the light.

Growing up, Johnson dealt with bullying and thoughts of suicide. “I was lucky really,” Johnson says, “because through all that static of life I was able to see the support I had all around me.” He has known other young people who have not had the same realization. It is to those young souls that the book is dedicated. In their honor, he wants to donate a portion of the profits from the sale of his work to local organizations that help troubled teens. “Being a teen is hard enough,” Johnson concludes, “now life has piled on all this other stuff, we need these organizations more now than ever.”

Johnson has had the privilege of working with students in a necessary transition time in their life. While recently he teaches mostly seniors, he has worked with all grade levels at different times in his 15-year career. When not teaching, Eric typically wanders in the woods looking for a good lake to swim in or playing in the backyard with his children.

You can find his previous poetry collection, The Conditions We Live, published by Unsolicited Press. You can find some of his other poems in The Chaffey Review (Spring 2010), The Battered Suitcase (Winter 2010), and Writing Tomorrow (February 2012). If poetry isn’t your thing, he has also published a choose your own adventure story as an Alexa skill titled “Dreamweaver Unlocked.” More traditionally, Eric has published three full-length novels, Under the Shadow’s Eye and Depth of the Rebels’ Stone, books one and two of the Dreamweaver Diaries, and The Lost, book one of The Second Coming trilogy.

For more information, please visit WWW.ERICJOHNSONWRITER.COM