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A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith (Small Press Distribution (All Titles)) Paperback – March 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Small Press Distribution (All Titles)
  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Tupelo Press (March 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193219519X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932195194
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The intimate relationship between poetry and prayer, explored anew in this wide-ranging collection of interviews, animates some of our most vital writing. These poets are wonderful guides to the endlessly changing terrain of spiritual practice. . . ." --Christopher Merrill, author of Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain

"An incandescent collection of essays, superbly edited, radiant with wisdom, demonstrating the great truth that all poetry, all art, all human endeavor finds its fulfillment in service to something higher than itself. . . . Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, unaffiliated, non-religious: the contributors . . . unite in awe before the mystery of being. This is a noble and life-giving book." --Philip Zaleski, editor of the annual Best Spiritual Writing volumes and co-author of Prayer: A History --Advance Praise

About the Author

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977. His debut collection was DANCING IN ODESSA (Tupelo Press, 2004). Among his awards are the Whiting Prize, the Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2005 Foreword Poetry Book of the Year award.

Katherine Towler is the author of a trilogy of novels, Snow Island, Evening Ferry, and Island Light. She consults with schools and non-profits on publications and promotional materials, and teaches in the MFA Program in Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. She lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

More About the Author

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived in the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) which won the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine. In 2008, Kaminsky was awarded the Lannan Foundation's Literary Fellowship, and in 2009, poems from his manuscript, Deaf Republic, were awarded Poetry magazine's Levinson Prize. Currently, Kaminsky teaches Contemporary World Poetry, Creative Writing, and Literary Translation in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at San Diego State University.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Stensrude on June 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have not been an avid reader of poetry; I recognized only one of the names in this collection: Grace Paley. What drew me to the book was to find out what Paley, a writer I have long admired, has to say about faith. I moved through the words of six poets to arrive at Paley's contribution. By this time, I was engrossed, entranced, inspired, and engaged.

Ilya Kaminsky (a Russian Jewish poet) and Katherine Towler (an American novelist and daughter of an Episcopal priest) interviewed nineteen award-winning American poets, some in person, others by correspondence. They tailored the responses to essay format with a conversational tone, a device that puts you, the reader, sitting across the table, having the conversation.

Carolyn Forché, a poet and teacher of literature and writing at Georgetown University, is the first of the nineteen to speak. Forché grew up in a Catholic household in a Catholic neighborhood. She "knew one Protestant girl" and "saw one Jewish girl once, walking down the road." She began her exploration into the outside world in her last year of high school, when she began reading the works of Protestant religious thinkers. It was the beginning of her life as a seeker.

"I would splash and play in the fields of spiritual thought," Forché says, "read the Zen sutras and then jump off a cliff into the arms of something about the Dharma, and then go back to reading the Bible, and then have a certain dalliance with Judaic thought." Forché built on her childhood religious upbringing and became a self-described syncretist. And along the way, she became an activist for human rights.

Forché is representative of the experiences of these nineteen poets.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Michael Albert on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
I give this book five stars because it does exactly what I expected it to do. I’m no spring chicken. I’ve read many collections of interviews, and many books on spirituality. At their worst, interviews become an ego fest for the interviewee and/or the interviewer. What value there is in the interview becomes completely obscured by clouds of braggadocio. Books on spirituality can fail in many ways. Sometimes they assume the reader is a member of the choir and create volumes of text that are basically contentless—it is unimportant if they have a point, it’s just important if they speak at length and well. Or, they’ll make the opposite mistake, assume the reader is closed minded or skeptical, and pelt them mercilessly with the particulars of their belief in the hope that relentless oratory will result in surrender and conversion. This book makes no such mistake. There is a tremendous variety of thinkers here, poets who are willing to think out loud about the role of spirituality and God/god in their work. I know both editors, in passing, but I know none of the poets. So it was easy for me to sit with them each for a half-hour or so and listen to what they had to say on the more abstract aspects of poetry. And the book passed my ultimate test of collections of interviews: there were poets I agreed with whole heartedly, and others I was in vehement disagreement with. Still others were persuasive, one to the point of being inspiring. And mix of different voices was stimulating as well. Some poets were masters of straightforward, look-me-in-the-eye communication. Still others were so recondite, so obtuse, it was difficult for me to imagine what exactly they wanted to communicate with me; it owed more to the academic musings of scholastics than any pressing need to communicate. As I say, it’s all good.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen Hosch on August 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here is an anthology of highly vulnerable modern poets exposing both their doubts and their faith. Any lover of these selected writers will want this sharing of the deepest truths behind their voiced life work. I highly encourage any reader to try reading just one of these selections. My bet is that this will be like trying "one piece of chocolate" which almost never happens. Have a good read!
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