Tag: faith

interview: michael martin

1st December

{ in this interview, poet michael martin discusses approaches to creating poems. }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I remember reading an interview with Anthony Burgess and he was asked a similar question. He answered that he was writing for fifty-year old lapsed Catholic Englishmen with an interest in ideas and Shakespeare. In short, he was writing for himself. That also true for me, I suppose. I write the kind of poetry I’d like to read. Likewise, when I try to imagine people reading my poetry, I can only imagine them reading poetry as I write (and read) poetry: in a state of contemplation. It’s … Read More »

breaking through: john donne and the rhino of grief

5th June

The words by the seventeenth-century poet-pastor John Donne were familiar: “No man is an island.” I first read this poem at the suggestion of my college English professor, who said I should also check out Gerard Manley Hopkins, another religious poet. Since then, I’ve read the book by Thomas Merton with that title and listened to a number of songs based on Donne’s words—a folk version by Joan Baez, a choral piece sung in church, even a reggae version by Dennis Brown.

On September 11, 2001, the words came back.

A few months earlier, I spotted my father-in-law’s copy of Donne’s collected works on the bookshelf and began reading it in an effort to get a handle on my grief. I discovered that Donne’s wife, Anne, died after sixteen years of marriage when he was forty-five. Evelyn died after eighteen years when … Read More »

interview: micha boyett

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, memior/cnf, writing. No Comments

8th May

{an interview with author micha boyett, whose spiritual memoir, FOUND: A STORY OF QUESTIONS, GRACE, AND EVERYDAY PRAYER, was released last month}

when you picture someone reading your book, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

When I began writing Found, I was thinking about other mothers in my stage of life. I was asking, Why is no one writing about the spiritual dryness of motherhood? But what I’ve discovered over the process of writing (and learning how to be a mom at the same time–my oldest son was eighteen months old when I started this book; now he’s almost six) is that the themes of identity and weakness in faith belong to everyone. The intensity of motherhood revealed … Read More »

the only dependable season

24th April

I am forever grateful for rubrics of devotional life. Certainly, they are foundational, dependable, and formational. But there is more. Taking my hand and uncovering pieces of mystery about His presence, God has lovingly healed more and more of the aching places in my heart. Creative spiritual practices–along with the beloved time and space of quiet with my Bible and fervently scribbled prayers in my journal–beckon me deeper into the love of God through Christ.

When I attended college, my soul was tender. A lonesomeness occupied my heart. Longing to be out of my small-town life, yet lost within the wide world outside of it, finding a campus ministry in which to be involved proved a brick-by-brick time in my spiritual journey. In those four years, I gained much ground in knowing what it meant to walk in relationship with Jesus. … Read More »

breaking through: the sacredness of words

27th March

The preparation is done, the centering of mind and heart by prayer, Bible study, or walking through nature and listening.

I sit down at my brown wooden desk in a dark room. The desk lamp lights only the paper. Everything else is back in the shadows. When I begin to write, my hand moves into the light.

The work of our hands is part of creation, because God’s work continues to be done in the world through human hands. Writers put words together and create sentences and stories, bringing the unspoken into the light and giving it form.

In the shadows I wait, listening until I see an image, hear an echo, or feel a presence. Then I wait for words to come that will root this into my time and place.

As words come, I write them down. When they stop, I set … Read More »

writing my way in

13th March

Recently I was asked to visit a senior English class at the school where I teach World Religions.  I was excited to be entering into conversation with students not just as their familiar teacher but as  a ‘real poet.’  But as I was telling students about the writing life, when I was singing the usual song about how hard it is to write, and how I have to drag myself to do it sometimes, a student I knew quite well looked at me half in annoyance and half in genuine curiosity.  He asked, “Then why do you do it?”

My brain sputtered.  No one had asked me that, that directly, in a long time.  I could have gotten dramatic and said because I have no other choice!  It must come from my soul or surely I will perish! Instead I said … Read More »

tracking the walking poets

18th November

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance—
and changes us, even if we do not reach it…

—Rilke, “A Walk”


 I cannot be the only child who was first exposed to “devotional poetry” through the ever-famous work “Footprints in the Sand”. I saw it mostly on the walls of friends or neighbors—in embroidered prints with sand and water and sky sewn in around the verses to set the scene of a dreamed of beach.

While I was never as enamored of it as everyone else seemed to be, I did accept its sentiment of spiritual comfort, then. The allegory of a walk made sense to a child raised on Bible stories and fairy tales of adventurous wanderings and who had walked barefoot by the water on many summer holidays. And there … Read More »

books & culture review of MAKING MANIFEST

8th November

yesterday, CT’s site ran a fine review of MAKING MANIFEST, which was released digitally this week in a revised edition. check out the review here and tell everyone you know about it!


interview: alissa wilkinson

Posted by dave in interview, writing. No Comments

25th September

{ Editor’s update: Since we last spoke with Alissa, she has completed the MFA at Seattle Pacific University, and also has been named Chief Film Critic at Christianity Today Movies, rendering portions of this interview outdated. However—we think you’ll agree—there is still great content here, so we’re happy to run it. }

1. Alissa, thanks for chatting with us. Anyone who knows you knows you are notoriously busy and productive. What’s a typical day look like for you?

Well, my schedule varies wildly based on whether I’m teaching that day, holding office hours, traveling, or working from home, but generally I try to get up early, write for an hour or two, go for a run (I’m training for a half marathon in January), then head in to the office. Once I’m on campus at King’s, I often have a smattering of … Read More »

san francisco workshop!

10th September

in SAN FRANCISCO? know someone who is?

come spend the weekend writing, making friends, and seeing things differently!

tell everyone you know!


resources for faithful practitioners of creativity and creative practitioners of faith...

Pieces of Freedom & Becoming: Collage of Seoul in Review

{ in this brief review, Maggie Boyd reflects on reading Jae Newman’s debut book of poetry, Collage of Seoul }

“I am free,” is the opening...

interview: jae newman

{ in this interview, jae newman discusses naming the muses and slot machines… }\


when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see...

interview : melissa studdard

{ in this interview, poet melissa studdard give some practical advice on the writing life }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do...

interview: a. k. lamotte

{ a.k. lame speaks on emerging and beginning, of the poet, the poem, and

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see...

breaking through, w/ mark liebenow

The Spirituality of the Wilderness: Do We Need to Pray in Nature, or Are We Already Praying?

The first snow of the season...

interview: amber nelson

{ in this interview, poet amber nelson brings the heat discussing vision, revision, and attentiveness }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do...

interview: michael martin

{ in this interview, poet michael martin discusses approaches to creating poems. }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them?...

interview: sheldon lee compton

{ in this interview, sheldon lee compton ruminates on fiction, revision, and writing as a life discipline }

when you picture someone reading your fiction,...

interview: karen swallow prior

{ in this interview, karen swallow prior discuss her process and the challenges of writing toward truth }

you’re primarily known as—I think—a lover and...

interview: david wright

{ in this interview, poet david wright discusses craft, inspiration, and revision }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them?...

“walking with kindness” by mark liebenow

What is required of us is to do justice, love kindness,

 and walk humbly with our God. Micah 6:8


I imagine Micah...

“a made thing” by heather caliri

For a long time, I simply felt helpless.

My youth pastor in high school was spiritually abusive to many of us, and he sexually abused...

“the devil you know: rough drafts” by elizabeth jarrett andrew

Poor revision, unfairly maligned due to a quirk of human nature! We beasts prefer prowling on familiar territory, rooting up the same soil with...

interview: aaron belz

{an interview with poet and essayist aaron belz, who recently released his third collection of poetry, GLITTER BOMB}

when you picture someone reading your poetry,...

a worker’s prayer: van gogh on sight

When it’s warm outside and the food processing plant doesn’t smell, I sit on the call center steps and drink tea in the sun....