Book reviews

The Gorgeous Curiosity of Mary Oliver

Eighty-one-year-old Mary Oliver is widely acclaimed for her wise, lyrical poetry that presents life as a spiritual pilgrimage. Her latest book, a collection of essays, celebrates nature and literature as sources of hope, and points to the power of quiet acts such as taking a slow walk in the woods or spending hours with a… Continue reading The Gorgeous Curiosity of Mary Oliver


Believing in Poetry in Haiti – Part II

As of January 12, it has been six years since the devastating Haiti earthquake. But there are signs of resilient hope in this country. Part II of my reflections on literacy, poetry, and my time in Haiti has been posted over at Relief Journal. Here's an excerpt. * Believing in Poetry in Haiti - Part… Continue reading Believing in Poetry in Haiti – Part II


Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

Prolific poet Mary Oliver has always displayed an unabashed love for animals and a special talent for pondering affection, beauty, and grief through the world’s smallest creatures. Her recently published poetry collection, Dog Songs, honors the canine companions that have brightened her life and work. Oliver praises dogs for their loyalty, playfulness, and “steadfastness”; she laughs at… Continue reading Dog Songs by Mary Oliver


Bearing Witness to Hope when Memory Fails

You are likely familiar with at least a few frightening stats regarding dementia. On the radio just the other morning, an announcer gloomily shared a recent report from Alzheimer’s Disease International stating that 44 million people live with the disease – and warning that this figure will likely increase to 135 million by the year… Continue reading Bearing Witness to Hope when Memory Fails


Tracking the Walking Poets

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp; it has inner light, even from a distance— and changes us, even if we do not reach it…                                                                                                                                           —Rilke, “A Walk” I cannot… Continue reading Tracking the Walking Poets


Memorizing Mercy

Attention is the beginning of devotion. —Mary Oliver In elementary school I loved the rhythms of “memory work”—from reading the Scripture passage in class to taking it home to be written out again or pasted on the fridge or recited aloud with my hands covering the verses. And I was glad to have new words… Continue reading Memorizing Mercy