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Writing Out of Experience: An Interview with Ed Falco

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Ed Falco has been writing poetry, fiction, and plays for 30 years, but his story “Millat’s Orchids” in Image 102 is his first publication in Image. He took time out of his vacation on the East Coast to talk with Good Letters contributor Brad Fruhauff about his evolution as a person and as an author,…

Being Fearsome: Motherhood, Grief, and Unexpected Grace

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The day before my uncle John’s funeral, I sleep most of the day after school drop off, the night before having been largely consumed by anxiety and grief, a mind untethered and roaming. I wake up to a voicemail from the vice principal of my son’s school, telling me that there has been an incident…

I’ll Be Your Mirror: St. Andy Warhol, Holy Fool

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I have exchanged so much for the intensity of living in New York City: personal space, expendable income, welcome silence, a night sky full of stars. It is deliberate work to live here. The city constantly refashions itself, and so must its people. We develop methods and mechanisms for self-preservation. Some are brusque, others gracious.…

Remembering the Living and the Dead at the National Museum of Mexican Art

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On August 3, I was on a bus between Guanajuato and Mexico City, traveling with my family, when a 21-year-old American man opened fire in a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, killing twenty-two people and injuring twenty-four. According to the Associated Press, he had published a screed online that referred to a “Hispanic invasion of…

How to Celebrate at Death

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Not every death calls forth celebration. But when the loss is of someone who was granted the gift of a long, good life, it’s that life that we can celebrate. I’m moved to ponder this gift—and how we who remain can celebrate it—because during a single week this past summer, I went to three different…

Mutilated, Mystic, Heretic: The Inquisition’s Victims are the Folk Saints of Palermo

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God is also tucked in the back alley with the criminals, the condemned, those whose bodies have been mutilated, and the mystics who encounter God on the wild edges of the church.

In the Cosmos of the Arts, a Christian Cosmonaut Is Born Again

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Contrary to the warnings I received in church, the arts have not led me away from Christian faith. In fact, art—whether projected on a screen, singing through speakers, printed on pages, or displayed on gallery walls—goes on revealing and affirming the beauty and truth proclaimed by the Scriptures.

On Laying the Truth Bare: Willa Cather’s My Ántonia and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive, Again

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“What do we do with that ‘little circle of experience,’ the reader of both books is left to ask herself? What do we make of the task of being planted here, in these bodies of bare bone and fragile skin, in the forever–between space that separates the earthly and the divine?”

Rebuilding the Cathedral

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  A few years ago, I spent nearly every spring morning with my young daughter in the tiny playground behind Notre Dame Cathedral. It was a great place to take a break. There were comfy benches and shade trees and clean bathrooms with an attendant.   Often, we’d find ourselves back in the center of town…

Imagination and Affection: Photographer David Hanson Enters the Cloud of Unknowing

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  David T. Hanson’s photography collection The Cloud of Unknowing takes its viewers into the mystical space between seeing and believing. Hanson’s photographs, which include holy spaces from both Eastern and Western religious cultures, lead viewers on a visual quest to encounter “sanctuary,” reminding us of the bright, empty mystery that remains at the heart…

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For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every week gifted writers offer personal essays that make fresh connections between the world of faith and the world of art. We also publish interviews with artists who inspire and challenge us.

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