My Bright Abyss

Seven years ago, Christian Wiman, a well-known poet and the editor of Poetry magazine, wrote a now-famous essay about having faith in the face of death.

My Bright Abyss

Seven years ago, Christian Wiman, a well-known poet and the editor of Poetry magazine, wrote a now-famous essay about having faith in the face of death. My Bright Abyss, composed in the difficult years since and completed in the wake of a bone marrow transplant, is a moving meditation on what a viable contemporary faith—responsive not only to modern thought and science but also to religious tradition—might look like. Joyful, sorrowful, and beautifully written, My Bright Abyss is destined to become a spiritual classic, useful not only to believers but to anyone whose experience of life and art seems at times to overbrim its boundaries. How do we answer this "burn of being"? Wiman asks. What might it mean for our lives—and for our deaths—if we acknowledge the "insistent, persistent ghost" that some of us call God? One of Publishers Weekly's Best Religion Books of 2013

Uncommon Prayer

Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 3. 25. Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 4. 26. Wiman, My Bright
Abyss, 13. 27. Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 17. 28. Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 23. 29.
Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 15, 30, 67. 30. Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 25. 31. Wiman
 ...

Uncommon Prayer

In Uncommon Prayer: Prayer in Everyday Experience, Michael Plekon wants to change our minds on what constitutes prayer. In doing so, he makes a theological claim that commonplace aspects of the Christian life are best understood as prayer, whereby encouraging us to see that everyday life carries religious import; prayer and the religious life are not restricted to special places and times, but are open to all believers at all times. Plekon examines the works of diverse authors, including many who have challenged the status quo of institutional churches. He asks us to listen to what poets, writers, activists, and others tell us about how they pray at work and at home, with colleagues, family, and friends, in all the experiences of life, from joy to suffering, sadness to hope. Among them are Sarah Coakley, Rowan Williams, Heather Havrilesky, Sara Miles, Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, Christian Wiman, Mary Karr, Barbara Brown Taylor, Dorothy Day, Maria Skobtsova, Paul Evdokimov, Seraphim of Sarov, and Richard Rohr. Plekon argues that prayer encompasses a much wider variety of activity than formal and liturgical prayers and that, by recognizing such aspects of prayer, the believer is made more receptive to transformative aspects of prayerful attitudes.

Theology as Autobiography

31 25. Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 8. 26. Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 105. 27. Wiman,
My Bright Abyss, 10. 28. Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 156. 29. Wiman, My Bright
Abyss, 93. 30. Wiman, My Bright Abyss, 104. This is a great difficulty to
comprehend ...

Theology as Autobiography

Autobiographical writings on faith frequently come from the lives of ordinary persons whose struggles with faith are often lived at the margins of the church, academy, and society. Yet these voices have the potential to reshape the ways in which each of these fields function. To find out what it means to stand before God with all of one’s humanity on display is to engage in not only the act of confession, but to demonstrate a bold theological reflection that needs to be more explicitly understood. By turning to spiritual autobiographies as theological source texts, we learn to place our emphasis where it matters most, on the people whose lives of faith move us deeply and cause us to re-examine our own lives in light of their witness. Moving through a range of ancient, early modern, and contemporary spiritual writers in order to demonstrate a profound connection that unites them all, this book portrays how a critical self-examination of one’s most personal, internal fractures (our “poverty” as it were) is the only way to develop a life of faith—the dual meaning of the word “confession,” which expresses both a revealing of one’s sins, or brokenness, and the articulation of what one believes.

He Held Radical Light

And how do we make that hunger productive and vital rather than corrosive and destructive? These are the questions that animate Christian Wiman as he explores the relationships between art and faith, death and fame, heaven and oblivion.

He Held Radical Light

A moving meditation on memory, oblivion, and eternity by one of our most celebrated poets What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? And how do we make that hunger productive and vital rather than corrosive and destructive? These are the questions that animate Christian Wiman as he explores the relationships between art and faith, death and fame, heaven and oblivion. Above all, He Held Radical Light is a love letter to poetry, filled with moving, surprising, and sometimes funny encounters with the poets Wiman has known. Seamus Heaney opens a suddenly intimate conversation about faith; Mary Oliver puts half of a dead pigeon in her pocket; A. R. Ammons stands up in front of an audience and refuses to read. He Held Radical Light is as urgent and intense as it is lively and entertaining—a sharp sequel to Wiman’s earlier memoir, My Bright Abyss.

Once in the West

One of The New York Times' 10 Favorite Poetry Books of 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist A searing new collection from one of our country's most important poets Memories mercies mostly aren't but there were I swear days ...

Once in the West

One of The New York Times' 10 Favorite Poetry Books of 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist A searing new collection from one of our country's most important poets Memories mercies mostly aren't but there were I swear days veined with grace —from "Memory's Mercies" Once in the West, Christian Wiman's fourth collection, is as intense and intimate as poetry gets—from the "suffering of primal silence" that it plumbs to the "rockshriek of joy" that it achieves and enables. Readers of Wiman's earlier books will recognize the sharp characterizations and humor—"From her I learned the earthworm's exemplary open-mindedness, / its engine of discriminate shit"—as well as his particular brand of reverent rage: "Lord if I implore you please just please leave me alone / is that a prayer that's every instant answered?" But there is something new here, too: moving love poems to his wife, tender glimpses of his children, and, amid the onslaughts of illness and fear and failures, "a trace / of peace."

Survival Is a Style

But there are many new notes in this collection as well, including a moving elegy to the poet’s father, sharp observations and distillations of modern American life, and rangy poems that merge and juxtapose different modes of speech and ...

Survival Is a Style

Survival Is a Style, Christian Wiman’s first collection of new poems in six years, may be his best book yet. His many readers will recognize the musical and formal variety, the voice that can be tender and funny, credibly mystical and savagely skeptical. But there are many new notes in this collection as well, including a moving elegy to the poet’s father, sharp observations and distillations of modern American life, and rangy poems that merge and juxtapose different modes of speech and thought. The cumulative effect is extraordinary. Reading Survival Is a Style, one has the sense one is encountering work that will become a permanent part of American literature.

Who s Afraid of Modern Art

... mysterious, and frustrating to me, creating discontinuities and sharp edges that
confuse and anger me. in My Bright Abyss, Christian Wiman observes: if God is a
salve applied to unbearable psychic wounds, or a dream figure conjured out of ...

Who   s Afraid of Modern Art

Modern art can be confusing and intimidating--even ugly and blasphemous. And yet curator and art critic Daniel A. Siedell finds something else, something much deeper that resonates with the human experience. With over thirty essays on such diverse artists as Andy Warhol, Thomas Kinkade, Diego Velazquez, Robyn O'Neil, Claudia Alvarez, and Andrei Rublev, Siedell offers a highly personal approach to modern art that is informed by nearly twenty years of experience as a museum curator, art historian, and educator. Siedell combines his experience in the contemporary art world with a theological perspective that serves to deepen the experience of art, allowing the work of art to work as art and not covert philosophy or theology, or visual illustrations of ideas, meanings, and worldviews. Who's Afraid of Modern Art? celebrates the surprising beauty of art that emerges from and embraces pain and suffering, if only we take the time to listen. Indeed, as Siedell reveals, a painting is much more than meets the eye. So, who's afraid of modern art? Siedell's answer might surprise you.

The Other Journal Evil

1 TOJ: I taught Every Riven Thing to my writing students last fall, and I was
surprised that a group of evangelical Christian ... 138; and Wiman, “My Bright
Abyss,” American Scholar, Winter 2009, http://theamericanscholar. org/my-bright-
abyss/.

The Other Journal  Evil

THE OTHER JOURNAL: EVIL Description This world is a fallen place rife with suffering, oppression, and violence, a land of tsunamis and earthquakes, genocide and crime sprees. We are surrounded on all sides by brokenness, yet we have difficulty spotting its source. We see the effects of evil, yet we rarely grasp its true nature and breadth. In issue #20 of The Other Journal, our contributors analyze the haunting opacity of evil and call us to name and resist its insidious influence. The issue features essays and reviews by Brian Bantum, Gregory A. Boyd, Andrew W. E. Carlson, Jacob H. Friesenhahn, David Kline, Agustin Maes, Rebecca Martin, Branson Parler, Anthony B. Pinn, Dan Rhodes, and Lauren Wilford; interviews by Allison Backous, Brandy Daniels, Chris Keller, Ronald A. Kuipers, and David Kline with Richard Beck, J. Kameron Carter, Richard Kearney, C. Melissa Snarr, and Christian Wiman; and fiction and poetry by Mark Fleming, Chad Gusler, Jennifer Strange, and Kali Wagner Other Issues of The Other Journal The Other Journal: The Food Issue The Other Journal: The Celebrity Issue Other Books by The Other Journal Sects, Love, and Rock & Roll by Joel Heng Hartse The Spirit of Food edited by Leslie Leyland Fields Jesus Girls edited by Hannah Faith Notess God Is Dead and I Don't Feel So Good Myself edited by Andrew David, Christopher J. Keller, Jon Stanley Remembering the Future edited by Chris Keller, Andrew David

Parables of Parenthood

Williamson, lamar. Mark (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and
Preaching). louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1983. Wiman, Christian. My Bright
Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer. new York: Farrar, straus and Giroux,
2013.

Parables of Parenthood

Jesus told simple stories about common items; yet his parables profoundly address our hearts and minds. We offer an interpretation, not only about what we read, but also what we think and feel. Parables of Parenthood presents modern biblical scholarship in an accessible writing style in order to model how these ancient stories continue to enrich life in the twenty-first century. Andrew Taylor-Troutman closely analyzes each parable with deep appreciation before applying these interpretations to his life, because he believes the genius of the parables offers a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven in our everyday experience. By interpreting from the author's head and heart, Parables of Parenthood gives new luster to well-known, narrative gems about sowing seeds and lost sheep through personal insights about anxiety and hope. Lessons about wise builders and wicked tenants are illustrated with anecdotes about a baby's food and a grandmother's rocking chair. Through interpretations of other parables, moments as diverse as a beach trip and an ultrasound appointment invite movement from fear to faith. Through the combination of his informed Bible study and practical life experience, Taylor-Troutman empowers readers to connect the teachings of Jesus to our world in comforting and challenging ways.

Buzz Books 2013

Departing Poetry editor Christian Wiman describes a struggle of a different type
in My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (FSG, April), as his faith is
sorely tested after being diagnosed with cancer. He wrote the book while
convinced ...

Buzz Books 2013

A sampler of 28 forthcoming titles to coincide with Winter Institute 8

Hammer Is the Prayer

A visionary selection from one of America’s foremost poets One of the most distinctive voices in contemporary American poetry, Christian Wiman has forged a singular style that fuses a vivid and propulsive music with clear-eyed realism, ...

Hammer Is the Prayer

A visionary selection from one of America’s foremost poets One of the most distinctive voices in contemporary American poetry, Christian Wiman has forged a singular style that fuses a vivid and propulsive music with clear-eyed realism, wry humor, and visionary lament. In his “daring and urgent” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir, My Bright Abyss, he asks, “What is poetry’s role when the world is burning?” Hammer Is the Prayer: Selected Poems might be read as an answer to that question. From the taut forms of his first book to the darker, more jagged fluencies of his second, into the bold and pathbreaking poems of his last two collections, Hammer Is the Prayer bears the reckless, restless interrogations and the slashing lyric intensity that distinguish Wiman’s verse. But it also reveals the dramatic and narrative abilities for which he has been widely praised—the junkyard man in “Five Houses Down” with his “wonder-cluttered porch” and “the eyesore opulence / of his five partial cars,” or the tragicomic character in “Being Serious” who suffers “the world’s idiocy / like a saint its pains.” Hammer Is the Prayer brings together three decades of Wiman’s acclaimed poetry. Selected by the author, these poems reveal the singular music and metaphysical urgency that have attracted so many readers to his work and firmly assert his place as one of the most essential poets of our time.

True Paradox

Preface 1Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), pp. 154-55. 2Ibid., p. 165.
Introduction 1Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (New
York: Harper ...

True Paradox

Foreword Review's 17th Annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist (Religion) How do we explain human consciousness? Where do we get our sense of beauty? Why do we recoil at suffering? Why do we have moral codes that none of us can meet? Why do we yearn for justice, yet seem incapable of establishing it? Any philosophy or worldview must make sense of the world as we actually experience it. We need to explain how we can discern qualities such as beauty and evil and account for our practices of morality and law. The complexity of the contemporary world is sometimes seen as an embarrassment for Christianity. But law professor David Skeel makes a fresh case for the plausibility and explanatory power of Christianity. The Christian faith offers plausible explanations for the central puzzles of our existence, such as our capacity for idea-making, our experience of beauty and suffering, and our inability to create a just social order. When compared with materialism or other sets of beliefs, Christianity provides a more comprehensive framework for understanding human life as we actually live it. We need not deny the complexities of life as we experience it. But the paradoxes of our existence can lead us to the possibility that the existence of God could make sense of it all.

The Virginia Quarterly Review

Love, too, is a landscape central to Wiman's vision; in Every Riven Thing and My
Bright Abyss especially, he restores to love's transcendence its rightful integrity,
its open-armed mystery. Poetry, Wiman writes in this memoir, is “that brief ...

The Virginia Quarterly Review


Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats

... taste of earthly bliss, That paleness warms my grave, as though I had A seraph
chosen from the bright abyss To be my spouse; thy paleness makes me glad; Thy
beauty grows upon me, and I feel A greater love through all my essence steal.

Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats

'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen greatest English writers,' and T. S. Eliot has paid tribute to the Shakespearean quality of Keats's greatness. Indeed, his work has survived better than that of any of his contemporaries the devaluation of Romantic poetry that began early in this century. This Modern Library edition contains all of Keats's magnificent verse: 'Lamia,' 'Isabella,' and 'The Eve of St. Agnes'; his sonnets and odes; the allegorical romance Endymion; and the five-act poetic tragedy Otho the Great. Presented as well are the famous posthumous and fugitive poems, including the fragmentary 'The Eve of Saint Mark' and the great 'La Belle Dame sans Merci,' perhaps the most distinguished literary ballad in the language. 'No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness,' said Matthew Arnold. 'In the faculty of naturalistic interpretation, in what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare.'

Romanticism

That paleness39 warms my grave, as though I had A seraph chosen from the
bright abyss To be my spouse: thy paleness makes me glad; Thy beauty grows
upon me, and I feel A greater love through all my essence steal.'40 320 ...

Romanticism

This new edition of the groundbreaking Romanticism: AnAnthology is the only book of its kind to contain completetexts of a wide range of Romantic works, including Blake's Songsof Innocence and of Experience, The Marriage of Heaven andHell, and Urizen; Wordsworth and Coleridge's LyricalBallads (1798); Wordsworth's Two-Part Prelude; early andrevised versions of Coleridge's 'The Eolian Harp', 'This Lime-TreeBower my Prison', 'Frost at Midnight', and 'The Ancient Mariner';Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, Epipsychidion andAdonais; Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Canto IIIand Don Juan Dedication and Cantos I and II; and Keats'sOdes, the two Hyperions, Lamia,Isabella and The Eve of St Agnes. It also carriesexplanatory annotations and author headnotes. Updated toincorporate the latest scholarly findings, it remains the essentialtext on Romanticism. Don Juan Dedication and Cantos I and II; and Keats'sOdes, the two Hyperions, Lamia,Isabella and The Eve of St Agnes. It also carriesexplanatory annotations and author headnotes. Updated toincorporate the latest scholarly findings, it remains the essentialtext on Romanticism. Includes all texts from the third edition, with theaddition of Keats's Isabella and Shelley'sEpipsychidion, as well as a selection of the poems of WalterScott Includes a wider and deeper selection of texts by the Big Sixmale poets (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Byron and Shelley)than any competing volume Includes a generous range of texts by female Romanticpoets All editorial materials, including annotations, authorheadnotes, and prefatory materials, have been revised for the newedition The only book to contain complete texts, edited for this volumefrom manuscript and early printed sources by Wu, along withexplanatory annotations and author headnotes Contains everything teachers and students require for anin-depth survey of the principal writings to emerge from theBritish Romantic period The most widely-used teaching anthology in the field in theUK Companion website features a dynamic timeline detailingsignificant events of the romantic period and providing images,suggestions for further reading and useful links to other onlineresources: ahref="http://www.romanticismanthology.com/"www.romanticismanthology.com/a

Joy

Why is joy so resistant to language? How has it become so suspect in our times? Manipulated by advertisers, religious leaders, and politicians, joy can seem disquieting, even offensive.

Joy

One hundred of the most evocative modern poems on joy, selected by an award-winning contemporary poet Christian Wiman, a poet known for his meditations on mortality, has long been fascinated by joy and by its relative absence in modern literature. Why is joy so resistant to language? How has it become so suspect in our times? Manipulated by advertisers, religious leaders, and politicians, joy can seem disquieting, even offensive. How does one speak of joy amid such ubiquitous injustice and suffering in the world? In this revelatory anthology, Wiman takes readers on a profound and surprising journey through some of the most underexplored terrain in contemporary life. Rather than define joy for readers, he wants them to experience it. Ranging from Emily Dickinson to Mahmoud Darwish and from Sylvia Plath to Wendell Berry, he brings together diverse and provocative works as a kind of counter to the old, modernist maxim "light writes white"--no agony, no art. His rich selections awaken us to the essential role joy plays in human life.

The Book of Georgian Verse

I know what was, I feel full well what is, And I should rage, if spirits could go mad;
Though I forget the taste of earthly bliss, That paleness warms my grave, as
though I had A Seraph chosen from the bright abyss To be my spouse; thy
paleness ...

The Book of Georgian Verse


Publications

All things return unto me , finding me just , and are ready to be fashioned anew in
my bright abyss . ' The precipice of death leads to a renewal of life . 1 . 89 . " Who
dragged me to her from some fertile sleep . ' Note à soi for the more usual à ...

Publications


Great English Writers

280 " And I should rage , if spirits could go mad ; “ Though I forgot the taste of
earthly bliss , XXXVI “ That paleness warms my grave , as though I had Strange
sound it was , when the pale shadow " A Seraph chosen from the bright abyss
spake ...

Great English Writers


English Romantic Poets

... earthly bliss, “That paleness warms my grave, as though I had “A Seraph
chosen from the bright abyss “To be my spouse: thy paleness makes me glad; “
Thy beauty grows upon me, and I feel 319 “A greater love through all my essence
steal.

English Romantic Poets