Epic Tales: an Interview with Amit Majmudar, part 1

Guest post by Sarah Arthur

To call Amit Majmudar a poet doesn’t express the range of interests that characterize this brilliant, generous, inexhaustibly inquisitive young writer: Notable novelist, literary essayist, diagnostic nuclear radiologist, husband, parent of young children, expert in comparative religion.

His works have appeared in Image, The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Smithsonian, The Atlantic Monthly, Harvard Divinity Review, and First Things. His poetry has been widely anthologized, including the poem “Incarnation” from his collection Heaven and Earth, which appears in the newly released Light Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany from Paraclette Press.

Curious about his clear-eyed perspective on Western faith and literature, I interviewed Amit for Good Letters.

[Read more...]

My Big Bang Theory

redwoodsGuest post by Cathy Warner

I awoke one morning from a recurrent nightmare of nuclear apocalypse to see towering redwoods dripping with fog outside the window. I stepped from the cabin into a chorus of frogs and crickets, interlaced roots spreading wide into bracken fern, neon banana slugs sliding across fragrant duff. I breathed crisp air and sensed that I was in the midst of an ecosystem in perfect harmony.

In that instant I was convinced this hadn’t happened randomly (as I understood evolution), or because the trees had “willed it” (as I understood the Beyond War manifesto I’d recently embraced).

It was the first time I felt God revealed—not a bearded cloud-bound giant calling for repentance, a la the Bible-thumping students on the campus quad I’d tried to avoid—but a presence, being—in and behind all that existed.

[Read more...]

Greg Wolfe Made Me a Better Writer: 25 Years of Image

proofreadingGuest post by William Coleman

To celebrate Image’s twenty-fifth anniversary we are posting a series of essays by people who have encountered our programs over the years.

My first task at Image was to write to Ray Bradbury. That, I told my disbelieving self, was my job: to send proof pages of new work to the man whose old work so absorbed me at fifteen that all I could do for a year was write version after watered-down version of Dandelion Wine.

What saved my cover letter from devolving into a Chris Farley SNL sketch (“You remember when you said the birds scattered like skipped stones across the inverted pond of heaven? Yeah…that was…that was awesome.”) was my overweening desire not to be sent home on the very morning I began acting as managing editor of Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion.

Luckily for me, my predecessor, Richard Wilkinson, had left some ready language in the Dell, and I was able to maintain my position.

Close to six, Image’s founder Greg Wolfe returned from his think-tank day job somewhere in the woods of Delaware and invited me to join him and his wife Suzanne in their living room for drinks. To accomplish this, I walked all of thirty feet. In those days, the whole of Images office space comprised Greg’s study, next to the family laundry room.

[Read more...]

Fury: The Beautification of Violence?

FuryGuest post by Christine A. Scheller

I loathe violent movies. When my husband watches them at home, I escape to another room or ask him to change the channel. This has been especially true since our son died a violent suicide death. I don’t want to see blood and guts. Death is too real and broken bodies are too precious for me to want to consume them as entertainment, or be confronted with them in art.

So it was with considerable trepidation that I attended a screening of the new World War II flick, Fury. I had heard that the film is brutal. It is.

But it’s also that rare breed in which the violence is necessary. This may seem obvious given that it’s about war, but other war movies revel in lingering scenes of carnage. Aside from one grotesque sequence, this film never does.

[Read more...]

Smelling a Rat

Woman-Praying

Guest post by Suzanne M. Wolfe

About a year ago I felt an overpowering urge to say the “Our Father.” I’m still not sure why. I never knew my biological father, so I’ve always been indifferent to this prayer, the only prayer Jesus taught us. In the back of my mind I’d think: He’s not my father. I don’t have a father.

And my heart would be empty even as my mouth said the words.

Until that moment my habit had been to say part one of my prayers lying in bed before reading for an hour, then part two after I turned out the light. There was no mystical or theological reason for dividing up my prayers, sandwiching the secular (currently the novels of Dennis Lehane) between the sacred, albeit rote, words of the “Glory Be,” the “Hail Mary,” and the prayer for the dead.

I suspect it was like stopping halfway up the mountain, claiming to admire the view when it’s really all those damn cigarettes making my heart thump like a jackhammer, my lungs wheeze like a broken bellows.

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X