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The Wedding Season

By Maureen McGranaghan Short Story

FATHER BOB MORTON had always enjoyed the wedding season, until this year. Of course, the proper mood came upon him when he felt the adrenaline of bride, groom, and family, and he delivered his homilies, presided over the vows and rings, consecrated the Eucharist, and attended the receptions per protocol. But he did not eat much…

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Annie Spans the Gap

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

There is no such thing as an artist: there is only the world, lit or unlit as the light allows. When the candle is burning, who looks at the wick? When the candle is out, who needs it? But the world without light is wasteland and chaos, and a life without sacrifice is abomination. What…

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Notes for Young Writers

By Annie Dillard Essay

The following advice was sent to the creative writing students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, following a series of talks Ms. Dillard presented to the students there. § AFTER I left Chapel Hill, I thought of many things I wish I’d said to you. Here are some of them. Dedicate (donate,…

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Verdigris

By Melissa Range Poetry

Not green as new weeds or crushed juniper, but a toxic and unearthly green, meet for inking angel wings, made from copper sheets treated with vapors of wine or vinegar, left to oxidize for the calligrapher. When it’s done, he’ll cover calfskin with a fleet of knotted beasts in caustic green that eats the page…

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Finding Our Names

By Leslie Leyland Fields Essay

Fathers and teachers, I ponder, “What is hell?” I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love. —Dostoyevsky How did I get so lucky to have my heart awakened to others and their suffering? —Pema Chödrön WHEN MY FATHER DIES, I may not know about it for days. The people at his…

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The Harboring Silence

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

The following is adapted from a commencement address given at the Seattle Pacific University MFA in creative writing graduation in Santa Fe on August 8, 2015. The great poet does not completely fill out the space of his theme with his words. He leaves a space clear, into which another and higher poet can speak.…

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The Yoke of Sympathy

By Mary Kenagy Essay

The Yoke of Sympathy: The Fiction Writer and Her Characters   Although the general tone of your [story] “Kirilka” is well maintained, it is spoiled by the character of the land captain. Keep away from depicting land captains. Nothing is easier than to describe unsympathetic officialdom, and although there are readers who will lap it…

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The Reader’s Prayer

By Kim Stafford Poetry

The road takes you from there to here. Here is where you are. Time takes you from then to now. Now is what you have. Language takes you from what you have to what you have to say. When we meet, this is your gift. And writing takes you from what you have to say…

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The Persistence of Faith

By Dennis Covington Essay

Why Believe in God? Over the past few years, the Image staff contemplated assembling a symposium based on this simple problem. But we hesitated. Should we pose such a disarmingly straightforward question to artists and writers, who tend to shun the explicit and the rational? Or were we hesitating because the question itself made us…

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A Conversation with Ron Hansen

By Brennan O'Donnell Interview

Ron Hansen’s novels are Desperadoes, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (both from Knopf), Mariette in Ecstasy, Atticus, Hitler’s Niece, and Isn’t It Romantic? (all from HarperCollins). Atticus was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Hansen is also the author of the story collection Nebraska…

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