Melissa Pritchard’s fiction focuses on the life of a holy fool; Sara Zarr remembers the Jesus Movement; and Marilyn Nelson writes that “contemplative life has no frontiers.” With poems by Floyd Skloot, Jill Peláez Baumgaerter, Amy Newman, and Hannah Faith Notess; a conversation with Madeline DeFrees; an essay by pastor Debbie Blue; an in-depth look at the art of Jerzy Nowosielski; and more.
Gregory Wolfe, The Tragic Sense of Life
Melissa Pritchard, Pelagia, Holy Food
Wilmer Mills, Thoughts from Port Royal Kentucky
Marilyn Nelson, The Contemplative Life
Jill Peláez Baumgaerter, Prodigal Ghazal
For a Birthday and Wedding Anniversary, Two Days Apart
Claire McGoff, The Dawning
John J. Brugaletta, Teach Us to Pray
Clare Rossini, Argument in Memoriam
Amy Newman, When the Dove Flew Overhead
Carolyne Wright, Snow before Sleep: A Reflection in Winter
Hannah Faith Notess, To an Old Calender of Paintings of the Blessed Virgin
Artur Rosman, Acquainted with the Night: The Art of Jerzy Nowosielski
Katie Kresser, Night Vision: Jacques Maritain and the Meaning of Art
Jennifer Maier, A Conversation with Madeline DeFrees
Debbie Blue, Making it Strange
Sara Zarr, Who Is My Mother, Who Are My Brothers?
Jill Peláez Baumgaerter is professor of English and dean of humanities and theological studies at Wheaton College. Her books include the poetry collections My Father’s Bones(Finishing Line), Finding Cuba (Chimney Hill), and Leaving Eden (White Eagle Coffee Store) and a work of nonfiction, Flannery O’Connor: A Proper Scaring (Cornerstone). A former president of the Conference on Christianity and Literature, she serves as poetry editor ofChristian Century.
Debbie Blue is one of the founding pastors of House of Mercy, a church in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is the author of Sensual Orthodoxy (Cathedral Hill) and From Stone to Living Word: Letting the Bible Live Again (Brazos). Her essays, sermons, and reflections on scripture have appeared in Life in Body, Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross, The OE Journal, Geez, and Christian Century.
John J. Brugaletta is author of The Tongue Angles (Negative Capability) and Tilling the Land(Edwin Mellen). He was publisher and editor of South Coast Poetry Journal (1986-95) and is co-author of Discovering the Way of Wisdom: Spirituality in the Wisdom Literature (Kregel). He is professor emeritus of English at Cal State Fullerton and lives with his wife in Humboldt County.
Alice Friman’s poetry collections include The Book of the Rotten Daughter (BkMk) and the forthcoming Vinculum (Louisiana State). New work is forthcoming in Gettysburg Review, Georgia Review, New Letters, Subtropics, Field, and others. She lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she is poet-in-residence at Georgia College and State University.
A.G. Harmon is the author of A House All Stilled (Tennessee), 2001 winner of the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel. His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Bellingham Review, TriQuarterly, Commonweal, Antioch Review, and elsewhere. He is also the author of a treatise on Shakespeare and the law, “Eternal Bonds, True Contracts”: Law and Nature in Shakespeare’s Problem Plays (SUNY). He teaches at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.
Katie Kresser is an assistant professor of art history at Seattle Pacific University. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 2006 and her BA from Indiana University in 1998.
Adrie Kusserow is a cultural anthropologist who teaches at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. Her first book, Hunting down the Monk, was published by BOA Editions as part of their New American Poets Series. She is currently working on a second manuscript, “War Metaphysics for a Sudanese Girl,” and her poems have most recently been published in Best American Poetry 2008, Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, and The Sun.
Jennifer Maier is an associate professor of English at Seattle Pacific University and an associate editor for Image. Her work has appeared in Poetry, American Poet, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry Daily, NPR’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” and elsewhere. Her debut collection,Dark Alphabet (Southern Illinois), won the Crab Orchard Review first book award and was named one of ten remarkable books of 2006 by the Academy of American Poets.
Claire McGoff was raised and educated in Colorado and Texas and resides in Silver Spring,Maryland, with her husband and their six children. She is currently developing a writing program for groups of individuals living in assisted care. Her work has appeared in Innisfree Poetry Journal.
Wilmer Mills’s poems have appeared in The New Republic, Hudson Review, Southern Review, Poetry, New Criterion, Shenandoah, Literary Imagination, and other journals, as well as the Penguin/Longman Anthology of Contemporary American Poets, and will appear in the forthcoming Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. He currently teaches poetry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is the Kenan Visiting Writer.
Elisabeth Murawski is the author of the poetry collection Moon and Mercury (Washington Writers) and the chapbook Troubled by an Angel (Cleveland State). Her poems have appeared in publications including the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ontario Review, Field, Yale Review,and New Republic. Her awards include the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, the Davoren Hannah Poetry Prize (third place), and a fellowship at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland.
Marilyn Nelson’s books include Carver: A Life in Poems (Front Street) and A Wreath for Emmett Till (Houghton Mifflin). Her honors include two NEA fellowships, a Guggenheim, three National Book Award finalist medals, a Newbery Honor medal, two Coretta Scott King Honor medals, and two Pushcart Prizes. She is an emeritus professor at the University of Connecticut, former poet laureate of Connecticut, and founder and director of Soul Mountain Retreat.
Amy Newman is the author of four poetry collections, including fall (Wesleyan) and Birdgirl Handbook (GreenTower/Laurel Review). Her work has appeared recently in the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Sentence, and Diagram. She teaches at Northern Illinois University. Visit her at
Hannah Faith Notess is this year’s Milton Fellow at Image. Her poems have appeared inChristian Century, Slate, and Mid-American Review, among other journals. She is the editor of the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical, forthcoming from Cascade Books, in which Sara Zarr’s essay from this issue will appear.
Melissa Pritchard is the author of six books of fiction and one biography. She has received the Flannery O’Connor Award, the Carl Sandburg and Janet Heidinger Kafka Prizes, and several O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes as well as the Hawthornden International, NEA, and Howard Foundation Fellowships. Her work has appeared in over sixty literary journals, including the Paris Review, Conjunctions, Agni, and Gettysburg Review. Her website is www.MelissaPritchard.com.
Artur Rosman is a PhD student in comparative literature at the University of Washington. Currently residing in Poland, he is translating The Archparadox of Death by Dariusz Karłowicz, a book about early Christian martyrdom and its role in the numerous conversions of Greek philosophers. Artur and his wife Monika became the proud parents of Dominik Rosman in January.
Clare Rossini’s poetry collections are Lingo (Akron) and Winter Morning with Crow, winner of the l996 Akron Poetry Prize. Individual poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Poetry, and the Best American Poetry series. She is on the faculties of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and the MFA in creative writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier. She lives in West Hartford with her husband and son.
Floyd Skloot’s Selected Poems: 1970-2005 (Tupelo) won a 2009 Pacific NW Booksellers Association Book Award. His sixth collection, The Snow’s Music (Louisiana State) was published in the fall of 2008, as was his memoir The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer’s Life (Nebraska). His awards include the PEN Center USA award in creative nonfiction, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers award in poetry, three Pushcart Prizes, and two Oregon Book Awards.
Carolyne Wright has published eight books of poetry, four volumes of translations from Spanish and Bengali, and a collection of essays. Her latest collection, A Change of Maps(Lost Horse), won the 2007 Independent Book Publishers Bronze Award, and a poem of hers was selected for Best American Poetry 2009. She teaches for the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program and has served as Distinguished Northwest Poet at her alma mater, Seattle University.
Sara Zarr is the author of two critically acclaimed novels for young adults: Sweethearts andStory of a Girl, a National Book Award finalist (both are from Little, Brown). Her third novel, Once Was Lost, will be published this fall. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and on the web at www.SaraZarr.com.