Well, I got COVID the first week of 2022.
Inauspicious beginnings, you might say, but I'm glad to be done with it (and glad I didn't have to cancel class because of it. The timing was considerate, all things considered). Classes are going well apart from that and I've got some exciting publications coming up; as ever, more are in the works.
Also, it's my birthday tomorrow 🎉 My kids and I baked a cake together in celebration and it's sitting even now in our fridge awaiting the feast. Here, have a piece: 🍰
AND--I can't believe this is real, but--Amazon is selling The Elegy Beta for $6. Hardback and paper! (literally while typing this, they moved it up to $7, so no telling how long this will last.) Let's take advantage of these algorithms, eh?
Finally, many of you will recall with fondness with Neighborhood Nutcracker series of dances the Mrs. Willett put together during that first Coronatide Christmas? Well, this year in Seattle it snowed a ton and she added a scene: Visions of Sugar Plums, filmed in our front yard by Yours Truly. (watch out for my cameo as a sled dog)
SPU Stories did a little piece about the Ascent Program I teach which you can read here. It was fun being interviewed about a class and some of my students were interviewed too about what it's like. Hint: they're fabulous fun. Read here. We did a photo shoot!
Next, as you will have noticed from all the fanfare, the parades in the streets and ticker-tape everywhere, my Festus volume has come out! I held the first copy in my hands this week. Encoutering this poem was a top reading experience of my life and I made this book simply because I wanted other people to have the same opportunity. This is, for the record, the poem that changed Walt Whitman's life (and in some ways, mine). 🥁
Anyone finished the Mars Hill Podcast and looking for what to listen to next? Here's an audio interview I gave with a really gracious host about my educational background and tips for including students in community life. I tell a story about old people who bought me breakfast and read a poem from Phases at the end of it.
Of course, everything has an asterisk by it these days, but if all goes to plan, I'll be giving a paper at the Conference on Christianity and Literature at Biola University April 7-10. If anyone in SoCal wants a sit down for a drink, I am now accepting solicitations.
Tribe by Sebastian Junger
Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary by Brant Pitre
The Everlasting People: GK Chesterton and the First Nations by Matthew Milliner
Recapturing the Wesley's Vision by Paul Chilcote
The Ethics of Beauty by Pattsas
Havasu, a surprise album by Pedro the Lion
Hypnos, a choral mass by La Tempete
Lament, hardcore by Touche Amore
You're subscribed to the Image update newsletter, right? It's a great resource offering an artwork, a poem to consider each week, as well as updates and CFP.
Also, I'm teaching a course on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien at SPU in Spring. Here's the poster I made for it. Whattdaya think? Too much smoking?