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A Conversation with Lorna Goodison


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Laughter is one way in which I experience God, and so I want to write about the ways in which I am sometimes lucky to experience the divine, as friend. A friend who makes you laugh out loud, and who makes you weep. I’m a weeper, and that too is a gift from God.

Stories Don’t Halt at Borders


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Nanto never ran out of stories. She would tell us stories of prophets in the desert, how people tried to scheme against them, how they were always too clever for the tricks or were helped by God in some magnificent manner.

The Ram


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I was born out of terror,
             horn-caught and tangled,

                            pulled from the brush
with a cry of thorn and leaf.

God of the Midwest


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God the God of the cement silo, sunset-stained,
and the conveyor
                                         running through the night.

In the Studio


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What I enjoy instead are the faults of the hand, the jagged edges, the brashness of jugaar (an Urdu word meaning to innovate within a very small budget).

Fridays at the Healer’s


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Once a week he holds me against him like a child and I inhale wood and horse and earth, sometimes  sweat (not sharp with the agony of hurry but warm,   like a tree trunk seeping sap on a sunny day); I keep  my eyes closed, as if afraid time will shift like a rocking boat beneath my feet, and that…

On Fitzroy Road


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It is only the forgetting—of our debts, of our teachers and fellows, of our place in the larger story we are unwittingly writing—that is a sin, a crime against memory, against both past and posterity.

Curator’s Corner: Bridge Projects, Los Angeles


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It seems to me that in displaying the profound aesthetic, cultural, and spiritual beauty of a common bequest like trees, we are moved to value them more and to experience an awe that humbles and amazes—something that makes us more respectful participants in the natural world.

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Epic Quiet Tragedy

And then I wonder: is this the quiet that dominates the life of all those people in hiding as well? The smallness, the excessive focus on detail, the mind going around in ever smaller circles? Will deeper thoughts and grand narratives only make themselves heard after this is all over?

Rebooting Myself

In these days of world pandemic caused by something that can’t be seen by the naked eye, I’m coming around to seeing this song as one of faith in our interconnectedness, our interconnectivity. The songs and drumming drifting down from balconies to fill the streets in Rome can be heard echoing from rooftops and windows in Barcelona to Budapest, Ankara to Panama, New York City to Gurgaon. We all sing the same song, though in different keys.

Attention as Prayer: Public Art in the Pandemic

Simone Weil once said that “Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer.” On this sunny morning, getting up close to the wall, I’m beginning to understand what she means.

Reading Together: Recommendations for Parents and Children

Today I share some of our family’s favorites—stories that reflect the power of community, the value of resilience, and the possibilities of hope—all with enough depth to engage even the adults in your family.

April 7, 2020

We say flattening fattening smashing the; and do I look sexy (chin’s up, buttercup) in my balaclava? We say what is ZOOM, then we Zoom. We say zoom is malware (but it’s all malware). Check this box if you are not a robot, now do you wanna zoom?

Against Silence

My crime? The sins of pride, indifference, sloth,
Not ceaseless prayer to rid myself of pain.
For I was taught to regard suffering
As integral to everything that mattered—
Life, love, and faith, all of which were found wanting.
And so I want to start again. Or not.

The Power of Absence: Reading Graham Greene during Lent

Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship have had to close at a time when faith and the comfort of community are needed most. But faith finds a way to lift us, even from a distance.

Mentored by the Dead

In the midst of a viral pandemic that has shuttered schools and universities, why go on writing essays about the syntactical anomalies of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, or learning when and how to use the French subjunctive tense, when humanity itself is threatened by a massive, though microscopic, enemy?

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