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“Passionate in the Pursuit of Awe”: A Review of American Divine

In “American Divine,” it would seem that the pursuit is not so much a pursuit of divinity but rather the experience of it—the awe, which in this instance is private and individualistic, potentially addictive, and more an expression of personal epiphanies than a community-shared theology.

I’m Over the American Homer

I’m not canceling Whitman. But my own enthusiasm for his poetry is waning. The poet whose daring versification and daring lifestyle were once seen as the epitome of counter-culture has come to seem to me all too mainstream, the very voice of an age of superficial egotism.

“Seventy Years Ago”: A Review of Red Stilts by Ted Kooser

Ordinary and unrefined, Kooser's poems suggest the steady hand of a craftsman who doesn’t need to go looking for the next big thing.

Heighten the Mystery

With California burning, Antarctica melting, and a death-toll spiraling, we’re left with a looming question: Can a people walking in darkness yet be made to see?

Familiar Voices, Sacred Stanzas

What strikes me overall about The Slumbering Host is the open-heartedness, hopefulness, and steadfastness of the editors’ approach and selection. This is a collection that is true to itself and knows its own mind and plays its own music.

Exile as Resettlement: A Review of The Best Poems of Jane...

Jane Kenyon was foremost a poet of place. Not of the State of New Hampshire, though she was its Poet Laureate, but of the much smaller and less abstract corner of it in and around Eagle Pond.

They Stood On Their Feet

The poetry in this book captures some of those everyday moments and holds them up in a light that makes possible another kind of clarity, not that of simply worded declarations on a page, but that which concerns our own selves and souls.

The Bridge and the Breach: A Review of Indigenous by Jennifer...

It is a hybrid, sacramental understanding of the earth and matter and of being in the world. She seems to say that even if the earth of Chilhowee is dry or the trees of the Smokies are stunted, we must cherish them because they remain good.

Learning to Read “the Book in Front of Us”

As the fall semester looms, the minutia of meetings and syllabi revisions threatens to drain the excitement from my impending return to the classroom....

Fierce Velleity: Poetry as Antidote to Acedia

In “Lying,” the late Richard Wilbur diagnoses one of our age’s endemic ills with the paradoxical phrase “fierce velleity.” For those of us who...