Robinson

A poem sequence pamphlet published by Akros Publications, Kirkcaldy in 2000, this is the author's first chapbook collection.

A sequence of poems based on the character ‘Robinson’ from the work of the American poet and artist Weldon Kees and on the circumstances of the poet’s disappearance in 1955. The poems imagine Kees surviving what is believed to have been a suicide attempt and travelling eastwards to Europe and recovery. The sequence was subsequently arranged for twenty piece jazz orchestra, two soloists and two narrators by composer Richard Ingham. It was premiered in 2011 and has received two subsequent performances.

Robinson was republished in the Arachne Press anthology The Other Side of Sleepin 2014.

"Brian Johnstone’s sequence ‘Robinson’ is outstanding in every way, running to eighteen pages and never a word too long. Taking the life and poems of Weldon Kees (the American poet who vanished from the Golden Gate Bridge in 1955) as a starting point, Johnstone imagines Robinson surviving a leap from ‘a bridge some miles from the city/ known to all’ and slipping on a series of new identities in his subse­quent travels – Mexico, the Atlantic, the Aegean – writing, smoking, a mys­tery to others, always a solitary who is searching for himself. Whatever name he adopts he remains ‘Robinson’. This poem makes the whole anthology worth searching out." Review from SOUTH 51 by D A Prince