Wait a second, can it really have been that long? We haven't had a missive since Spring? Goodness. I've missed you all.
I want to go back and tell you the things: so much happened--to tell you Mrs. Willett and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and people read poems and raised toasts under the globe lights strung from the cherry tree. How beautiful it all was--but the only way is forward, I think, and if I start in about the kids' new bikes, and Sebastian's first soccer camp and the trip to Baker Lake, and my first in-person MFA residency we really won't ever get caught up, so how's this? I'll just say "Summer was pretty nice" and you just fill in the details as you will.
We're back on campus at SPU and the autumn is beginning to do its thing, drawing deep shadows over the perfect lawn as tongues as though of flame drop from the boughs above. I'm teaching Faith and Literature and putting together a study abroad trip to Oxford/Cambridge/London for a C.S. Lewis Global Seminar in August 2022. Moreover, and here's a moment to sit up and take note, some of you, I'm making ready to travel to Boston next week for a conference. If you're from there and we love each other, or if you live there and we haven't met, drop me a line offering to show me where the good donut places are and I'll submit to your tutelage. I had a poetry reading planned there, but the place cancelled when the virus resurged, alas.
Two, of note. First, this poem about conversions went up at the pretty, new Ekstasis Magazine. Second, the essay I was telling you about last time, about tiny miracles I've seen in my life was published both in the physical magazine and online at The Mockingbird. People have been terribly sweet about it in response, including, notably, a couple of editors at presses. I may do more of this sort of writing in the near future, that is.
Three, actually, because right now, you can pre-order Festus! It's won't come out till December, but the page is there, and you can see the cover. You may want to have your university library order it, because it's pretty steep. Or you may want to wait 12 months till the paperback comes out. First reactions:
Scholars of nineteenth-century culture will want to thank Mischa Willett for this beautifully curated critical edition of Philip James Bailey's Festus. Seldom read today, Festus was devoured by Victorian readers from all walks of life and was reverenced in literary circles. Willett's thoughtful introduction unfolds for us the magnificent strangeness, as well as the abiding interest of this remarkable work.
– Charles LaPorte, University of Washington
I've just finished J.I Packer's Heritage of Anglican Theology, which is a huge sweep over a packed terrain. And I read Linda Bierds' new poems, and a book of Native American theology, Rescuing Jesus from the Cowboys. I've been sent Makoto Fujimura's Art + Faith, so that's probably next, but I'm crazy intrigued by this newly translated multi-volume one sentence series, The Other Name by Jon Fosse. The prose is so perfect I feel it in my chest, this tightening, and my breath times to it immediately upon entry. Have any of you seen it? I'll head to Elliott Bay this weekend and check it out.
A concert series that would have been for me what Woodstock was for the hippies happened this last weekend, but it was on the other coast, where, as you will have read above, I am already headed next week. I couldn't justify it, and I'm also increasingly anxious about flying. But Luxury, Mineral, The Appleseed Cast, and Jeremy Enigk were all in the same place and I...sigh and pine.
I took the kids to see TobyMac at the state fair! It was a little too late for them but what a great show. You can see him, on film anyway, w/ Amy Grant, MWS, and others in the new movie The Jesus Music, which I'm going to try to catch this weekend, though it means driving up to Lynnwood.
My friend, the Rev. Dr. Jimmy Salladin, has just published a study of Jonathan Edwards for IVP.
My church is hiring a part-time Children's Director. Know anyone?
All for now. I promise it won't be so long next time.