Issue #198 | July 21, 2010
Spotlight on the Glen Online: Poetry and Revelation with Nick Samaras
Poet Nick Samaras—author of the award-winning Hands of the Saddlemaker, whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, the New York Times, and Image, among others—grew up partly on the isle of Patmos, the site of St. John’s penning of the book of Revelation. This personal circumstance has provided an evocative metaphor for his vocation as a poet. In a previous interview, Dr. Samaras said that “to me, the poem is the Cave of the Apocalypse, Saint John the Evangelist's Cave of the Book of Revelation….I think of the language of travel, the secret, hidden language of the poem, and of what is to be uncovered, revealed. A personal apocalypse of ourselves to ourselves. In travel, we come very briefly to a place, a moment. Essentially, we are on vacation from our lives and the object is to find our lives” (read more here). Dr. Samaras is also the instructor of three courses for the Glen Online: beginning, intermediate, and advanced poetry, each of which focuses on writing as the primary part of that journey “to find our lives.” He describes his classes as another revelatory space, where “we examine and specify…where you have come from in both your writing and your reading, and identify the stages and levels you need to next achieve in your journey.” Dr. Samaras’s teaching style reflects this personal focus by its flexibility, mixing lessons from his three courses depending on his students’ needs. He also personalizes the online format through the use of digital voice files. Dr. Samaras records his feedback on students’ individual poems and then emails mp3 files to them: “In this way, each student doesn’t have scant notes written in the margins of their poems, but they have a solid 75 minutes of discussion/voice they get to keep.”
Registration Now Open for Charleston Seminar with Bret Lott
Don’t miss your chance to join us for an extended weekend of lively discussion, contemplation, Southern cuisine, and outings to artistic and historic sites in Charleston's downtown with a beloved novelist as our guide. In November, bestselling author Bret Lott (Jewel, Ancient Highway), will be joining us for an Image seminar in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. The theme for our time together is "Risking the Heart: Telling True Stories in an Age of Irony." Bret chose this theme because he believes that Story is an integral part of every human life, and that understanding stories, both our own and others’, teaches us how to live in the world. Besides reading from his own work, in both fiction and nonfiction, Bret will lead our group in daily discussions about the meaning and power of storytelling – how well-told tales help us to change, grow, and understand our lives. Drawing on the narratives of Scripture, we will explore how great literature is neither preachy nor ironic, but an opportunity for both writer and reader to risk their hearts for the sake of truth. For more information or to register, contact Dyana Herron by email at email@example.com or by phone at 206-281-2988.
Register soon, because only a few spaces remain for this special event. You can learn more and even download a PDF version of the brochure by clicking here.
The Kindlings Muse Features Gregory Wolfe and Image Staff
Have you ever wondered where Gregory Wolfe was over twenty years ago when he decided to found, of all things, a literary journal? Or which two contemporary writers first inspired the inception of Image with their seemingly unusual combinations of powerful craft and powerfully articulated faith? Listen here to the recent Kindlings Muse podcast as host Dick Staub interviews Image founder, publisher, and editor Gregory Wolfe, and learn all this and more. Kindlings Muse, a movement that hosts events and discussion forums on art and culture from an informed Christian perspective and broadcasts them online and on iTunes, celebrated Image’s last two decades of publishing the work of both “creed-sayers and grapplers” who respect mystery above “crazed certainty.” Their “Live at Image Journal on Orcas Island” podcast features an interview with Gregory Wolfe as well as readings from Bearing the Mystery, the anthology of Image’s best writing from its first twenty years in print. Wolfe reads a selection from his introductory essay, “Something Understood;” poet Luci Shaw (whose latest collection is Harvesting Fog) reads and comments on Robert Cording’s poem “Parable of the Moth;” and Image staff members Taylor Morris, Anna Johnson, and Dyana Herron read work from Pattiann Rogers, Madeline DeFrees, and B.H. Fairchild. Despite the modest expectations of its own founder, Image has thrived far beyond its projected life expectancy to continue to speak to a culture moving in its direction, hungry for expressions of truth grounded in living reality—as “the only way to ultimately know mystery is through the accretion of experience.”
The Correct Spelling and Exact Meaning by Richard Jones
In Richard Jones seventh book of poetry, The Correct Spelling and Exact Meaning, we find neither the baroque conceits of Jorie Graham nor the layered allusions of Geoffrey Hill but a stylistic simplicity, deceptively sparse—precise craftsmanship wrapped in a conversational tone. As the title implies, Jones’s poetry is marked by a particular attentiveness to the fine workings of language at the level of individual words, their syllables, and the quick breaths between them. In “The Word in the World” he states, “I could spend eternity / marveling at the art of syllabication.” Jones’s love for language culminates in a series of nine short poems—the longest only four lines—based on punctuation marks; like a mechanic re-organizing his toolbox, he carefully unpacks and inspects the hammers and wrenches of language. This attentiveness to the minutiae of linguistic craft provides a framework by which Jones can revel in the understated and overlooked—in particular, the lives of his children, with their scattered toys, fake tattoos, pajamas, and pirate costumes. In their simple world he locates a “wisdom hidden from the wise / whispered through cupped hands.” He acknowledges the presence of the eternal in the finite, “The seraphim protecting the fish-sticks,” and marvels at this holiness which is both separate from man and intricately woven into the bustle of daily ritual. Despite Jones’s frequently light-hearted and even humorous tone, he is no stranger to suffering, and depicts both hope and devastation separated by no more than a line break: “stars whisper stories of light and hope / as the cattle were led lowing to slaughter.” Jones presents us with a paradox: infinite grace within the finite and fragmented. The book, divided into three sections, hinges upon the central poem “&,” a short yet profound iteration of the power of this “little piece of string / binding / devil & saint, / salvation & ruin.” In this short poem about a grammatical symbol which can bind great oppositions, Jones points to the power of the Incarnation, where the eternal and the finite kiss.
To own your copy, click here.
A Welcome Shore by Suzanne Rhodes
In A Welcome Shore, Suzanne Underwood Rhodes takes us through a collection of poetic essays on grief, renewal, and all the beautiful moments in between. As the title indicates, water in its many forms plays a large part in these memoir vignettes. Rhodes is a poet as well as a prose writer, and her carefully-chosen words brim with vitality and movement. On one page the narrator picks gemlike shells from the sand, gifts from the waves: “The kaleidoscope sea would freely and always give me treasure.” Later she bathes the ravaged body of an elderly neighbor in water that cools and strengthens. In sorrow, “the deep, aching tremors of the Spirit rise like a buried sea to carry my flotsam words to the far shore, where God is walking this day.” At a concert, music takes on a water-like quality as it flows from hands and breath carrying the sounds of forest and cathedral, and the listener is the deer longing for running water. Through both changes and stillness, Rhodes shows us the love of God is like oceans, infinitely changing us and yet always the same. “The lyrical, evocative meditations that comprise this book suggest that even in the midst of grief, something beautiful and transcendent can wash up on the shore in front of us—if we have the eyes to see it,” says Gregory Wolfe, editor of Image. “Splash barefooted along the fringe” of the sea with Rhodes and see how “God’s love translates the flaws, the scars, into beautiful watermarks.” An added bonus is the foreword by Luci Shaw, who praises Underwood’s “eyes wide open for beauty and the significance of earthy things.”
Click here to dive in.
Images of Grace at Inscape Gallery
From July 23 to October 29, Washington Seminary's Inscape Gallery will showcase the icon art of Deborah Anderson in an exhibit called Images of Grace: A Journey Into the Visual Language of Iconography. The gallery invites you to attend an artist reception on Friday, July 23 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Inscape Gallery. Events of the evening include conversation, icon education, and art walk with Deborah Anderson. Attendees will also have the chance to view the extensive personal icon collection of St. George Coptic Orthodox Church's Dr. Mark Soliman. Inscape Gallery is located at 12300 Woodinville-Redmond Road NE, Redmond, WA. For more information, click here.
LOGOSdivinity to Create Faith-Inspired Art
We are pleased to announce the recent launch of LOGOSdivinity, a faith-based artists’ guild. LOGOSdivinity is both a ministry and a design company that seeks to express God's word through the artistic rendering of the Gospels. The guild encourages spiritual formation by visually and typographically partnering the passion of the first evangelists with the joyful witness of Chassidic Judaism. The company creates artworks for residences, businesses, and devotional spaces. Currently there is an opening in a new business development position at LOGOSdivinity. For a complete job description, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the company, click here. (We regret the link we included in the last issue was inactive, but this should take you right to the information you need!).
Study the Writings of David Brown at the University of St. Andrews
This September, the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts will examine the work of British theologian, David Brown, at their annual conference. The conference is titled "Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture: Conversations with the Work of David Brown,” and will draw its themes from five of Brown’s recent books. Brown is currently a Professor of Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture at St. Andrews University, and his 2007 book, God and Grace of Body: Sacrament in Ordinary, was short-listed for the 2009 Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing. Speakers at the conference will include: William Abraham (Southern Methodist University), Richard Bauckham (St. Andrews), Tina Beattie (Roehampton), Jeremy Begbie (Duke), Gordon Graham (Princeton Theological Seminary), Trevor Hart (St. Andrews), Gavin Hopps (St. Andrews), Clive Marsh (Leicester), Margaret Miles (GraduateTheological Union), Ben Quash (King's College London), Charles Taliaferro (St. Olaf College), and Graham Ward (Manchester) with a response by David Brown. The conference will run from September 6 through 8. For more details, including the call for short papers, see here.
ImageNews -- The Scoop on Our Programs
Image Readings: Image on The Kindlings Muse Podcast
In this podcast, host Dick Staub of The Kindlings Muse converses with Gregory Wolfe, publisher and editor of Image, about the vision that sparked the inception of Image and still characterizes it twenty years later. Also, Image board member and poet Luci Shaw and Image staff members Taylor Morris, Anna Johnson and Dyana Herron read their favorite selections from the anthology Bearing the Mystery (Eerdmans 2009), which brings together in one handsome volume the best of Image’s first twenty years. The book presents an all-star cast of seventy artists and writers including Scott Cairns, Annie Dillard, Clyde Edgerton, Patricia Hampl, Ron Hansen, Denise Levertov, Kathleen Norris, Richard Rodriguez and Wim Wenders.
Register Now: Last Minute Openings at the Glen
There are still a few spots left for this year's Glen Workshop, taking place in Santa Fe, August 1-8, and it's not too late to sign up! Don't miss out on the chance to paint a live model in Portrait Painting with Joel Sheesley, discuss Christianity and culture with Rodney Clapp, debate film interpretations with Jeffrey Overstreet in Film Seminar, or revise your latest poem in Marilyn Nelson's poetry workshop.There are also still several on-campus housing options open in dorm singles, doubles, and men's suites. Go to the Glen Workshop website—http://glenworkshop.org—to find more information about the classes, faculty, tuition, and the magic of the Glen experience. If you'd like to register, balances are due in total at this time so please give us a call at the office at (206) 281-2988. Available options change quickly, so keep checking back in the next week. Hope to see you there!
Click here to find out how “A week can change a life.”
Feast Your Eyes: The A&F Top 100 Films Site is Complete
Many of you may recall that this spring—a couple weeks before the Oscars—Image unveiled something called “The ArtsandFaith.com Top 100 Films” list. Well, what was once just a list is now a full-blown website crammed with 100 pages’ worth of information—a veritable film education in itself. But to back up for just a moment: you should know this list grows out of an online community, ArtsandFaith.com, that joined the Image family last year. A&F is an online message board that is the home of a lively and hospitable bunch: people interested in film, music, literature, and much more. While A&F has produced Top 100 Film lists in the past, this year brought the project to a whole new level. Thanks to support from Image, several dozen members of A&F voted on the best 100 films; and the list they came up with has generated conversation and applause from Hollywood Reporter and Boston Phoenix to blogs all over the world. This list is global in scope, including cinematic productions from Iran, Russia, Japan, Belgium, and beyond—the first American film is #22, A Serious Man. Some of the great directors are well-represented here—Tarkovsky, Ozu, Wenders, Rohmer, and Kieslowski among them—but also newcomers like first-time director Lee Isaac Chung, for his film set in Rwanda, Munyurangabo. Anyway, we could go on but what was just a mere list back in March is now a complete website featuring individual pages for all 100 films. Each page contains a film poster graphic, video excerpt, production info, links to websites (including discussions of the film at A&F), and short but pithy and incisive summaries of the film by members of the A&F community. A lot of people have been telling us about how they’ve used this list, from their own film queues to church-based movie series. Take advantage of this incredible resource today; your experience of film as an art form will never be the same. And consider adding your voice to the A&F community!
Subscribe to Image in Print and Get More Art, Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Interviews, and Every Good Thing
If you like reading about great new art and writing inspired by faith in ImageUpdate, and you're ready to get down to reading and seeing the stuff itself, it's time to subscribe to Image. Each quarter our editors comb the world of art and letters to bring you our favorite new work--work that respects transcendent mystery as well as the gritty truth of the material world that bears the divine imprint. A one-year subscription gets you four beautifully produced issues delivered right to your door. Ninety percent of the journal's content is not available on our website, but only through what we call "the sacrament of print." Click here to get the magazine Terry Tempest Williams calls "evocative and inspiring" and Bret Lott calls "the most meaningful literary journal being produced today."
ImageUpdatePublisher: Gregory Wolfe
Managing Editor: Dyana Herron
Layout: Anna Johnson
Contributors: Anna Johnson, Emily Meyer, Taylor Morris, and Gregory Wolfe
ImageUpdate is the biweekly e-mail newsletter from Image, a quarterly print journal that explores the relationship between Judeo-Christian faith and art through contemporary fiction, poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture, film, music, and dance. Each issue also features interviews, memoirs, essays, and reviews.
ImageUpdate brings you news about books, CDs, organizations, websites, conferences, exhibitions, and tours--all of which inhabit the intersection between faith and imagination. ImageUpdate will also notify you whenever a new issue of Image is printed, an Image event is upcoming, or new content is posted to our website.
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