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Two-Way Traffic

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

IN A RECENT essay, poet Ira Sadoff issued a sweeping denunciation of what he calls the “spiritualization of American poetry.” Entitled “Trafficking in the Radiant” and published in the July/August American Poetry Review, the essay asserts that contemporary poets have been influenced by the resurgence of religiosity in our culture, with disastrous results. “My contention…

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The Humiliation of the Word

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

The following is adapted from the commencement address given to the first graduating class of the Seattle Pacific University Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing. The ceremony was held on August 4, 2007, as part of the MFA residency that is held concurrently with Image’s Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  …

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Oliver Barratt: Poetry of the Void

By Richard Davey Essay

THE PHERICHE CLINIC clings to a windswept, rocky plateau two day’s hike below Everest Base Camp. Dwarfed by the majestic Himalayan peaks that surround it, this collection of low stone buildings is the highest medical clinic in the world, offering climbers and those who live there the care and expert treatment that are essential in…

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Psyche, Soul, and Muse

By Kathleen Norris Essay

The monastic men and women of the fourth century went into the desert for the specific purpose of combating their demons. When I moved to South Dakota with my husband, I had no such design. I wanted a quiet place to write and to nurture our relationship. But by planting myself firmly in a marriage, in my grandparents’ house in a part of the world considered by most to be a desert, I had done something untoward, and more radical than I knew. In a place with few distractions, where it is possible to go to monasteries for excitement, I had taken on the burden of time.

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A Conversation with Madeline DeFrees

By Jennifer Maier Interview

Madeline DeFrees is the author of two chapbooks and eight full-length poetry collections, including Spectral Waves (Copper Canyon, 2006) and Blue Dusk (Copper Canyon, 2001), winner of the 2002 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and a Washington Book Award, as well as two books of nonfiction about convent life. She spent many years as a nun…

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Young-Adult Fiction Comes of Age

By Hannah Faith Notess Book Review

The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas (Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2008) Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes (Hyperion, 2005) Trouble by Gary Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2008) Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (Little, Brown, 2009) AS A TEENAGER, I was given several novels in a series of inspirational young-adult (YA) books. On their pastel covers, modestly sweatshirted girls with big hair and…

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The Myth of Independent Film

By Craig Detweiler Essay

IT STARTED with a phone call. “Sweet D, I’m coming to California. I want to interview you for my new book.” Nobody ever called me “Sweet” except my Davidson College roommate, John Marks. Evidently he was on the prowl, in search of his next story. I was intrigued. “Why me?” I asked him. “Because you…

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Web Exclusive: A Conversation with Scott Cairns

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

The current issue of Image features three new poems by Scott Cairns. The author of numerous volumes of poetry, a convert to Orthodox Christianity, and a longtime contributor to Image, Scott has often advocated what he calls a “sacramental poetics”—the idea that a poem should not so much describe something as dosomething.   Image: Your poems use an exacting, prophetic voice, but…

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Forward into the Dark

By Nick Ripatrazone Essay

Forward into the Dark: Twenty-Five Years of Ambition   IN “THE IRRATIONAL ELEMENT IN POETRY,” Wallace Stevens explains that the unknown “excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom…. [W]e may resent the consideration of [the unknown] by any except the most lucid minds; but when so considered,…

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