Today I interview Kimberly Johnson and Stephen Jenkinson about their new book, Reckoning (Iron God of Mercy, 2022). Reckoning is an encounter, not only of two people trying to make sense of how to be human—and humane—in what they call our “troubled times,” but also of how to live in a world that’s larger than us, a world that has its own designs and aims and needs which surpass us and, if we don’t attend to them, surprise us. Death comes to us, whether we’re ready or not. Gods and ancestors appear, whether we recognize them or not. And, amid it all, sometimes we find ourselves alongside a companion who’s willing to reckon with these larger truths, even as we’re undone, even as our hearts break. That’s the encounter of Reckoning, one Johnson and Jenkinson invite us to join.
Stephen Jenkinson the author of six books. He is a worker, author, storyteller, culture activist, and co-founder of the Orphan Wisdom School with his wife Nathalie Roy. He is also the subject of the feature length documentary film Griefwalker, a portrait of his work with dying people, and Lost Nation Road, a shorter documentary on the crafting of the Nights of Grief and Mystery tours, which he undertakes with his band and collaborator Gregory Hoskins.
Kimberly Johnson is the author of multiple books, including Call of The Wild: How We Heal Trauma, Awaken Our Own Power, And Use It For Good and the early mothering classic The Fourth Trimester: Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions and Restoring Your Vitality published in seven languages around the world. Her work has been featured on the Goop! podcast, The New York Times, Forbes, Vogue, New York Magazine’s The Cut, Harper’s Bazaar, Today.com and many more. She is the host of the Sex Birth Trauma podcast.
Eric LeMay is on the creative writing faculty at Ohio University. He is the author of five books, most recently Remember Me. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.