April Bookshelf

April 14, 2021 | Bookshelf

This month we recognize National Poetry Month and Native Americans in light of Native American Sunday, including Joy Harjo, the first Native American named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2019. We also recognize Cathy Park Hong’s collection of poetry called Minor Feelings.

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry
(W. W. Norton & Company, 2020) by LeAnne Howe, Jennifer Elise Foerster, Joy Harjo
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When the Light of the World Was Subdued is a collection of poetry from more than 160 writers, who represent nearly 100 indigenous nations. This landmark anthology celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America, the first poets of this country, whose literary traditions stretch back centuries. Opening with a blessing from Pulitzer Prize–winner N. Scott Momaday, the book contains powerful introductions from contributing editors who represent the five geographically organized sections. Each section begins with a poem from traditional oral literatures and closes with emerging poets, ranging from Eleazar, a 17th century Native student at Harvard, to Jake Skeets, a young Diné poet born in 1991, and including renowned writers such as Luci Tapahanso, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier and Ray Young Bear.

Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate, is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently An American Sunrise, and a memoir, Crazy Brave. Her many honors include the Ruth Lily Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, two NEA fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Tulsa, OK, where she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow. LeAnne Howe is the author, most recently, of Savage Conversations. She teaches at the University of Georgia – Athens. Jennifer Elise Foerster, author of Bright Raft in the Afterweather, lives in California.

Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living into the Church’s Moral Witness through Radical Discipleship
(United Methodist Women, 2020) by Darryl W. Stephens
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Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom explores the idea of living into the Church’s moral witness boldly through radical discipleship. Women in the United Methodist tradition have courageously led ministries in race relations, creation care, substance abuse, sexual orientation and inclusion, poverty, relationships with indigenous nations and other concerns. However, The United Methodist Church and its predecessors have a sometimes-uneven history of resisting the evil and violence that damage the world. This book explores this history, empowering us to imagine God’s justice and to lead with compassion. Together, we bear witness to God’s gracious presence in ways that make a material difference to all of creation, all persons, especially victims of injustice and those who are most vulnerable. This is the moral witness of the church.

Darryl W. Stephens, an ordained United Methodist deacon, works in the specialized ministry of teaching. He directs United Methodist studies and the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry at Lancaster Theological Seminary and served as assistant general secretary of sexual ethics and advocacy for the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women in The United Methodist Church.

The Daniel Plan
(Zondervan, 2013) by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman
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The Daniel Plan explores a path to achieving a healthy lifestyle by optimizing the five key essentials of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. The concepts in this book will encourage you to deepen your relationship with God and develop a community of supportive friends who will encourage you to make smart food and fitness choices every day.

Dr. Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church, leads a 30,000-member congregation in California with campuses in major cities around the world. His book The Purpose Driven Life is one of the bestselling nonfiction books in publishing history. As a  theologian, he has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, University of Judaism and dozens of universities and seminaries. As a global strategist he advises world leaders and has spoken to the United Nations, U.S. Congress, Davos Economic Forum, TED, Aspen Institute and numerous parliaments. He also founded the Global PEACE Plan, which Plants churches of reconciliation, Equips leaders, Assists the poor, Cares for the sick and Educates the next generation in 196 countries.

From Lament to Advocacy: Black Religious Education and Public Ministry
(Wesley’s Foundery Books, 2020) by Anne E. Streaty Wimberly (Editor), Annie Lockhart-Gilroy (Editor), Nathaniel D. West
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From Lament to Advocacy sets forth the cultural imperatives of ministry and the contextual nature of a public theology of religious education that connects faith formation and action in addressing profoundly difficult, unjust, and wounding experiences of Black people in society. The book begins with the, often neglected, practice of lament as a necessary first step in vital public theological reflection and action. The book proceeds with meanings and ways of equipping persons within and beyond church settings to critically reflect on life and leadership in the throes of present-day social and political realities. It further provides practices for forming skills and shows how to partner with the spiritual guides needed to shape a just public arena and fruitful individual lives.

Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly is professor emerita of Christian education at the Interdenominational Theological Center and executive director of the Youth Hope-Builders Academy, a youth theology program funded by the Lilly Endowment. Her publications include In Search of Wisdom: Faith Formation in the Black Church and Soul Stories: African American Christian Education. Annie Lockhart-Gilroy is assistant professor of Christian education and Louisville Institute postdoctoral fellow at Drew University. Nathaniel D. West is a Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, MA, LPC.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
(Vintage, 2011) by Isabel Wilkerson
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The Warmth of Other Suns chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of nearly six million Black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. More than a thousand people were interviewed for this award-winning book.

Isabel Wilkerson won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her reporting as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times. The award made her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. She won the George Polk Award for her coverage of the Midwest and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for her research into the Great Migration. She has lectured on narrative writing at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and has served as Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University and as the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University. She is currently professor of journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University. During the Great Migration, her parents journeyed from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington, D.C., where she was born and reared.

Queering Lent
(CreateSpace, 2017) slats
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Queering Lent is a collection of 41 poems (one for each day of Lent and one for Easter) and one sermon written as part of a simple Lenten discipline: write one poem every day. An exploration of queerness and Christianity–and the queerness of Christianity, this collection contains references to transphobia, violence against trans people, mental illness and suicide. Tithes from the royalties will go towards organizations that supports queer/trans people in the church.

Slats (they/them/theirs) is a queer/trans/nonbinary Presbyterian. They hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama and a Master of Divinity. They most often work as a theater director, sound designer, and/or pastor.

Yes, and…: Daily Meditations
(Franciscan Media, 2019) by Richard Rohr
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Yes, and… features daily meditations, each written by Rohr and adapted or excerpted from his many written and recorded works. The meditations are arranged around seven themes: Methodology, Foundation, Frame, Ecumenical, Transformation, Process and Goal.

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Relevant Ramble: Musings of a Methodist Preacher in Recovery
(Powerful Potential & Purpose Publishing, 2021) by Chuck F. Moon
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Relevant Ramble provides a deep and honest look at the author’s past and present as a recovering alcoholic with humor, insight and education. This book compiles the first four volumes of Moon’s journals. Moon died on March 1, 2020.

Chuck F. Moon was a United Methodist Minister for 50 years and a recovering alcoholic 30 of those years. He was born in Biloxi, MS, in 1942, graduated from Mississippi Southern and Emory University Candler School of Theology. The first 13 years of his ministry were devoted to choral conducting and singing with the Robert Shaw Chorale. He felt it was time to enter the pulpit and preached the remainder of his career.

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
(One World, 2021) by Cathy Park Hong
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Minor Feelings is a blend of memoir, cultural criticism and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. With humor and vulnerability, this book explores vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, which will change the way you think about our world.

Cathy Park Hong is the author of three poetry collections including Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Engine Empire. Hong is a recipient of the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her poems have been published in Poetry, The New York Times, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Boston Review and other journals. She is the poetry editor of The New Republic and full professor at the Rutgers University–Newark MFA program in poetry.