Good Letters

Talk to Me in Letters


Dearest Cal: Please never stop writing me letters—they always manage to make me feel like my higher self (I’ve been re-reading Emerson) for several days. — Elizabeth Bishop to Robert Lowell, July 27, 1960 Dearest Elizabeth: I think of you daily and feel anxious lest we lose our old backward and forward flow that always…

The Tyrannical Self-Gaze


I’m doing most of my walking after dark these days as night comes a little earlier. Night walking always makes me feel lighter, almost weightless, so it seems like I’m walking faster than I do in daylight, and since the scenery no longer differentiates one day’s walk from another, my thoughts are in a tunnel.…

Maybe Tomorrow I Will be a Mystic Mom


I am outdoors in the late afternoon and sitting cross-legged on a quilt from which I can view the garden. This spot, under the shade of a large sugar maple—the setting idyllic and agrarian—should be perfect for quiet prayer. But it’s not. I think I am emerging from the haze of an anxiety that caught…

Poetry Friday: “George Herbert on the Road to Salisbury”


Each Friday at Good Letters we feature a poem from the pages of Image, selected and introduced by one of our writers or readers. I love William Wenthe’s “George Herbert on the Road to Salisbury” for many reasons. It is, of course, a tribute from a contemporary poet to one of the greatest poets in…

My Wish for My Students

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Students pray on lawn at SPU after shooting at the school.

Only this I wish for my students: this semester, I hope you will learn to care for each other. I hope you will learn how to create conditions in which everyone present in the room feels welcome to speak. I hope you will learn how to discern which of two competing voices within you is…

Christian Kerfuffles, Taking Offense, and the Poetry of Li-Young Lee


In late October, I had the privilege of teaching two workshops at the Indiana Faith and Writing Conference on the campus of Anderson University. The IFWC, originally known as the Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference, brings together writers of faith to help them develop in their craft and find opportunities for publishing. The director, Liz Boltz…

Joining in Life and in Death

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GL Post - Martyn Jones

When I moved into this apartment with my wife after gaining Canadian immigration clearance, I noticed, standing on our balcony, two apartments in the public housing building across from us. The first apartment, near the center of the building and four stories below us, was always visible at a sharp angle from above, and inside…

Cry Melodies


This post was made possible through the support of a grant from The BioLogos Foundation’s Evolution and Christian Faith program. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BioLogos. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.          …

Poetry Friday: “Mixed Company”


Each Friday at Good Letters we feature a poem from the pages of Image, selected and introduced by one of our writers or readers. The much-beloved poet and teacher Brett Foster passed away earlier this week and so I’d like to dedicate “Poetry Friday” to his memory. Image published quite a few of Brett’s poems…

Sleeping in Slave Quarters at Sweet Briar College


From my office window I can see the pale yellow plantation house, its sharply pitched roof peeking from behind a huge conifer, its two Italianate cupolas, one at either end of the house. Since 1901, Sweet Briar House has been the home of the president of Sweet Briar College, a small women’s college in the…

Image’s Daily Blog

For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every weekday, one of the gifted writers on our blogging team will offer a personal essay that makes a fresh connection between the world of faith and the world of daily life, spanning the gap between theology and experience and giving language a human shape.

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