“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” These words from the Book of Matthew are quoted often, but it’s rare to see someone living them out, and inviting the rest of us to join him. This week on our show, we’re joined by friend of the journal Chris Hoke, who does both of these things. If you visit Chris’s website, you’ll see three titles under his name: Gang Pastor, Jail Chaplain, and Writer. He and his colleague Neaners Garcia, who is also a former inmate and gang leader, are the founders and Co-Executive Directors of Underground Ministries, a team that works to promote prisoner relationships and reentry after incarceration. Chris chronicles his experiences in his writing, which you can find in several journals, including Image Journal, and on our blog, Good Letters. In 2013, he graduated from the Seattle Pacific University MFA program, and in 2015 HarperCollins published his first book Wanted: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders. This year, Chris served as the chaplain at the MFA’s Whidbey residency, where Paul Anderson sat down with him to talk about his work. You are about to hear that conversation. Plus, stay tuned for a sneak peek of our next episode featuring poet Scott Cairns.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.