Imago Dei

What does it mean to write poems in the Christian tradition? Creative writing teachers at Christian colleges wrestle with this question every day, as do many poets who write out of their grounding in Christian faith.

If I were teaching poetry at a Christian college, I’d hand my students the new anthology Imago Dei, published by Abilene Christian University Press. The poems—selected by Jill Peláez Baumgaertner, who teaches at Wheaton College and is Poetry Editor of The Christian Century and a poet herself—are drawn from the journal Christianity and Literature over its past sixty years.

What delights await the reader of this volume!

It’s no surprise to find in Imago Dei (Latin for “Image of God”) a poem on the Nativity or on Easter. But watch what Barbara Crooker does in “Cold Easter.” Beginning with an unusually chilly Easter day, she moves seamlessly into unexpected places:

a sputter of snow that turns the air white, but the grass
burns its green fire, and nothing sticks. Nothing lasts,
my mother says, fading from my eyes, and none of the fancy
tricks in the doctor’s bag can make her stay. [Read more…]