When the Witch of November Comes Stealin’

Ingham County, MI November writes its questions down In slender panes of ice That form in secret overnight On puddles in the yard. So a feeble imagination bodied forth...

What Kind of Democracy Do Localists Want?

Last week the United States went through another one of our regular, mostly ritualized exercises in mass democracy. What did (or should) localists think...

We Need a lot More than Romance

When I came across John Hockenberry’s essay, “Exile,” in the October edition of Harper’s Magazine, I had never heard of him. I still know little...

Walking in a Dead Man’s Shoes

A woman in another kind of grief uttered the terrible “should have been.”

Live like a Tree

I am an unlikely localist. My life is a product of globalization. My mother’s side of the family is from Singapore, China, and India,...

Dirt Thick with Known Dead

While wandering in a used bookstore this summer, I picked up Donald Hall’s String Too Short to be Saved. I enjoyed Hall’s stories about...

Dear Eugene

One of my heroes of the faith is dead. Eugene Peterson experienced death, but certainly not its sting, as he uttered his final words,...

Food and “the job of getting it there”

In Charles Frazier’s 1997 novel Cold Mountain, a minister’s daughter decides after her father’s death to remain on their western North Carolina farm, rather...

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Telling the Stories Right

From the Archives

Imagining Healthy Work: Why We all Have to Become Monks

This essay was originally presented at Spring Arbor University’s annual Focus series. I am speaking today not as a literature specialist, nor as a professional...

Leaving Washington

Notre Dame, IN. It was on the virtual “pages” of the Front Porch Republic that I announced last February that I was leaving Georgetown University,...

Canon Fodder I: Uncle Remus

New Castle, Kentucky. We can't talk about the economy all the time, or anyway I can't.  Today instead I want to sing a song of the...