• Book Reviews,  Female Faith Poets

    Female Faith Poet-Susan Cowger

    Susan Cowger confesses she was the ‘black sheep’ in the family, not quite fitting into the mold of family vocations–nurses, pharmacists, sensible people. Instead, her first language was art, a calling that led to a BA in Fine Art (1977) from Montana State University and subsequent MFA in Poetry with a secondary emphasis in Art from Eastern Washington University in 1997. Susan is a sculptor, visual artist (oils and watercolor) and a writer. What made her take the leap from two dimensional and three-dimensional work to words? “Art is often abstract. I wanted to help people enter into the art, so I started writing little poems. It seemed to help,”…

  • Book Reviews

    Book Review: In a Strange Land-Ten Kingdom Poets

    The kingdom of God has been compared throughout the Gospels as everything from a pearl of great price, to a vineyard, a man going on a journey, a mustard seed, a field of wheat and many more. And if the Kingdom of God had poets, which I’m sure it does, then you’d find their work in the slim volume “In a Strange Land-Introducing Ten Kingdom Poets” from Poiema Poetry Series (ed. DS Martin). Editor Martin explains the occasion of this printing, “This poetry collection gathers into one volume works by ten talented poets who…each (are) well deserving of having their own full-length poetry books, but as of April, 2019 have…

  • Book Reviews

    Aging With Grace–40 Women Over 40 Tell All

    Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV Two weeks ago I took my first ever trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to attend the Festival of Faith and Writing, a gathering for Christian writers, bloggers, authors and poets at Calvin College. One speaker in particular that I hoped to connect with was the powerhouse that is Leslie Leyland Fields.  In real life Leslie lives with her family in Kodiak, Alaska, where they own a commercial fishing business. In the…

  • Book Reviews

    The Joy of Poetry-Megan Willome

    “What if there were no poetry?  What if all life were prose?  Some people wouldn’t mind. One friend told me her son didn’t know how to do imaginative play. He lined up his action figures and then shrugged and walked away.  He didn’t know what else to do.  Poetry gives you an idea of what to do, or at least the idea that something more can be done.”  Megan Willome, “The Joy of Poetry” p. 138 When I mention to people that I’m reading a book of poetry the response is often, “I’m not into poetry. I just don’t get it.” If I tell them I WRITE poetry, they look…

  • Book Reviews,  Poetry

    The Traveling Mischief Cafe–Tweetspeak Poetry

    In late fall a few years ago I had the pleasure of hosting the diminuitive L.L. Barkat, a woman with a contagious laugh, a love of poetry and instigator of the Mischief Cafe (among other things.) The Mischief Cafe is sort of a traveling road show with tea, toast and poetry. Laura and I had connected online and had never met before this occasion, but when I read she’d be taking the cafe idea on the road I contacted her and extended an invitation. The Mischief Cafe idea originated with the Tweetspeak Poetry community, which L.L. founded, and came about from a Facebook conversation which morphed (156 comments later) into…

  • Book Reviews,  Spiritual Practice

    God in the Yard-Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us (L.L.Barkat)

    Several years ago I felt God speak to me about slowing down and Sabbathing more.  About being purposeful in my restfulness in Him. This is a story of what I discovered. In January of 2013, I ordered a book, God in the Yard by L.L. Barkat (TSPoetry Press)  I had “met” the author online in the Christian writing community. We connected, I emailed her and she graciously sent me a signed copy (and a pressed fern leaf from her yard.) I’ll admit I was wary–“Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us” is the subtitle. The words ‘A 12 week course in discovery and playing towards God’ grace the bottom of…

  • Book Reviews

    “Booked”–Karen Swallow Prior

    I first met (via words, of course) Professor Karen Swallow Prior through her coming of age book of essays, titled simply Booked (T.S. Poetry Press, 2012) . I related to so much of what she said about the way literature shaped her life growing up and eventually the way books led her to God.  I have since had the privilege of meeting Karen in person, but in the meantime, here’s my “review” of Booked in the form of a letter.   Dear Ms. Prior, I want to let you know how much your words in “Booked-Literature in the Soul of Me” have resonated with me.  I eagerly awaited the book’s release…