From Category: Poetry of Religion
By Katie Ford
Intense, sometimes cryptic verse explores the title's dual meanings of a witness statement and the removal of Christ from the cross. Ford's poetry occupies the territory between crucifixion and resurrection, a "dark night of the soul" that ruthlessly clears the ground for faith without making any cheery promises. Another must-read for poets working on spiritual themes.
By Jill Alexander Essbaum
Sensual, joyous and profound poems make Christian ideas and images fresh again. Required reading for all poets seeking a modern idiom for the language of faith.
By Charlie Bondhus
Finding one's identity is just the beginning of the struggle in this poet's first full-length collection, which incorporates his chapbook 'What We Have Learned to Love'. With lyricism and an empathetic imagination, Bondhus claims a place for himself within multiple traditions, daring to juxtapose a comic tryst with a resurrected Walt Whitman, a disciple's erotic memories of Jesus, and the lament of a post-Edenic Adam.
Inclusive, faith-inspired literary press
Orison Books publishes spiritually-engaged poetry, fiction, and nonfiction of exceptional literary merit. Editors say, "In our view, spiritual writing has little to do with subject matter. Rather, the kind of work we seek to publish has a transcendent aesthetic effect on the reader, and reading it can itself be a spiritual experience. We seek to be broad, inclusive, and open to perspectives spanning the spectrums of spiritual and religious thought, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation." Anthology proposals and fiction and nonfiction manuscripts are accepted year-round. There is an open reading period for poetry manuscripts in the spring and a contest in the winter with a large cash prize and prestigious judges. See website for online submission guidelines.
By Peter Blair
The spirit of St. Francis of Assisi presides over these plain-spoken poems, written from the perspective of a mental hospital orderly. Blair's kind and understated voice is a refreshing contrast to the melodramatic tone of much poetry about mental illness.
By Lauren Schmidt
The profane becomes sacred under this poet's unflinching attention, in earthy poems about illness, sex, and prayer (and sometimes all three tangled up in bed together). The heart of this chapbook is a series of unforgettable narratives about homeless and mentally disabled clients of The Dining Room, a soup kitchen in Oregon where the author volunteered. This book was selected by Terry Wolverton for the Main Street Rag Author's Choice Chapbook Series.