FALL '16: Currently Reading

Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard

How to Stop Time by Anne Marlowe

Still by Lauren Winner

"Goodbye to All That" by Joan Didion

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana

At Large and At Small by Anne Fadiman

Safekeeping by Abigail Thomas

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

SUMMER '16: Currently Reading

The Best Day, The Worst Day by Donald Hall

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Brown by Richard Rodriguez

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff

Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating

A Grace Disguised by Gerald Sittser

Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger

 

Summer '13: Currently Reading

 "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?"

"Saints and poets, maybe. They do some."

     - Emily Webb to Narrator, Thornton Wilder's Our Town 

 

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 Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection by Robert Farrar Capon

This was a gift from Grady Powell, director of the Trinity Forum Academy, to each of the fellows at commencement. I hope that Capon's reflections on food and table culture push me to heed Grady's charge to practice "astonishment at the ordinary" in this new season of my life.

My Bright Abyss  by Christian Wiman

A memoir by the man who wrote this stunning essay, whose honest, compassionate voice serves as a model for me as I grapple with questions of faith and the sorrows of the human experience in my own writing. Wiman is the former editor of Poetry  magazine, a poet in his own right, and a man whose great love and great sorrow have given him extraordinary insight into the deep things of our humanity.


 

March '13: Currently Reading

annah Coulter by Wendell Berry

Hannah Coulter's simple and delicate narration unfolds the story of a lifetime of farming and marriage, calling my rootless generation to brave commitment to people and place. In an introduction to the Trinity Forum Reading of "Hannah and Nathan," Greg Wolfe (Image Journal) writes this... “Love is not a passing emotion but a fundamental commitment, a rootedness in being. Its shape and meaning can only be known on the scale of a lifetime. To bind oneself to a spouse is the same as binding oneself to a place. As Hannah says, ‘Most people now are looking for a better place which means that a lot of them will end up in a worse one. There is no better place than this, not in this world, and it is by the place we’ve got and our love for it and our keeping of it that this world is joined to heaven.’”

Standing By Words  and Imagination in Place by Wendell Berry, excerpts

Berry's writing about art and place has been central to my thinking about the possibility for an artist, in an age of isolation and dislocation, to root herself in the place where she lives and to commit to the flourishing of that place and its people. Berry writes of his work as a novelist as it compares to his work as a farmer: "Advocacy is dangerous to art, and you must be aware of the danger, but if you accept the health of the place as a standard, advocacy is going to be present in your work."

Refractions y Makoto Fujimura.

Fujimura writes about the role of the arts in peace-making and community-building. I value this New Yorker’s perspective on how to rally a local urban community around the arts, and look forward to Mako and his wife Judy's visit to the Trinity Forum Academy later this month.

Deeper Than Reason: Emotion and Its Role in Literature, Music and Art by Jenefer Robinson, excerpts.