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Writers Retreat: Lake Michigan

I spent the weekend on Lake Michigan with some of my best writing friends. We talked a lot, laughed a lot, worked, sang songs well into the night, even gave a sparsely attended but enjoyable reading at a small-town library. I wish I could say I came back refreshed, feeling rested. I came back sick,…

Teaching The football player who sits in the back corner of Expository Writing and doesn’t say much, then turns in a rather stunning personal narrative about what he learned from a child in Haiti who needed a glass of water. This was no fly-by-night church trip, but a longstanding engagement marked by humility and hope….

Signs of Hope - Literary Edition

Two recent signs of hope today in creative literary endeavors: Looking for some short fiction with that burrito? Vanity Fair reports that Chipotle cups will now feature original stories by Jonathan Safran Foer, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and others. In a second compelling story, The New York Times Arts Beat reports that “In Praise of…

Looking for Alaska at the Library Book Sale

I had a great conversation at lunch today revolving around The Hunger Games trilogy, which I just finished reading. Our talk then drifted to YA books in general. A dreaded question came up: “Have you read John Green?” I’ve avoided The Fault in Our Stars for a long time, feeling like I wouldn’t be able…

A Thrilling Thrift Store Haul

I just finished Kyle Minor’s first collection, In the Devil’s Territory, which I liked very much, and which, as of this writing, is still just $1.99 for Kindle (go get it). And I read a Middle Grade book called Lone Wolf, which Una really wanted me to read. At AWP in Seattle, I bought Kyle’s…

Poetry Reading: Wheaton College - Thursday, Feb 20 @ 3:30 PM

Hey, Chicago-area folks! I’ll be reading at Wheaton this Thursday @ 3:30 PM. Sure would love it if you could make it, and/or pass the word. Thanks!

Literary Link-Up

As I’m recovering from minor surgery, I’ve been reading a lot and writing a little. I’ve gone back and re-read some of the sermons in Debbie Blue’s first book, Sensual Orthodoxy (2003), as I had just finished From Stone to Living Word (2008) and craved more engagement with her unique voice and rich insights. Also,…

How should we then live?

This morning I’m considering some important thoughts in the Wall Street Journal by Terry Teachout, in response to Bill Gates, who “questions why anyone would donate money to build a new wing for a museum rather than spend it on preventing illnesses that can lead to blindness. ‘The moral equivalent is, we’re going to take…

Throwback Thursday: Winter Hike, 2009

(For the next few Thursdays, I’m going to rehash an old blog entry. (Don’t worry, there are only, like, five total.) This is just a fun way for me to connect my old [dead and wiped out] blog with this new one. Thanks for reading.) Winter Hike: Morning, Mid-December (Penfield, NY) “Angels whisper to a…

International Poets, Part 1: Adélia Prado

Adélia Prado: The Alphabet in the Park and Ex-Voto: Poems of Adélia Prado (Tupelo, 2013). This is where I say, indignantly, that the lack of awareness of Adélia Prado’s work by American poets and readers is a travesty, especially among readers of faith. The power of her poetry is so raw and, at times, almost…

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