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A Liturgy For Stones
Poetry by David Wright

Summary: David Wright's A Liturgy for Stones does not fit easily into poetic categories. Though they take up biblical texts and themes, the poems are not especially devotional. Nor are the poems merely academic, though they demonstrate considerable poetic craft. Instead, these poems suggest fresh ways of poetically singing within and against the Christian tradition.

The title poem meditates on Jesus' warning that if his disciples stay quiet, “The very stones will cry out.” And the voices of these stones, joined with those of biblical characters, reluctant believers, and exultant skeptics suggest how poetry might still have a place in the life of the faithful if they dare to “Let untamed language fall on a thousand unsuspecting tongues.”

Comment: "David Wright's poems are alive with music and motion. His voice in A Liturgy for Stones finds daring pitches and a force of rhythm, disrupting our comfort zones. Wright sings his interrogations and affirmations of earth, body, and spirit, recognizing that much is hidden, and that much can be found in God's 'kingdom of margins.' These beautiful and lucid poems call us to unlock our own tongues and to sing what is true, and then to listen to the echoing silence, a place of "terrible holiness, a lush and delicate calm."
--Jean Janzen, Author, Tasting the Dust

"As the stones themselves cry out—even in their stillness—their praise, so do these sculpted poems manifest—even in their praise—a glimpse of holy stillness. In A Liturgy for Stones, David Wright has come upon a rich and enriching vein whereby our daily narratives may be seen to partake of the greater story, our many comedies and tragedies to partake of the One."
—Scott Cairns, Author, Philokalia

“David Wright moves from meditation to word-magic in a scenario where every day offers ample opportunity for midrash. The stones do speak when properly addressed in that curious mixture of wonder and praise that we call poetry.”
—Dan Guillory, Author, The Alligator Inventions

"In these vivid, urgent poems David Wright contends--sometimes angrily, often tenderly--with a whole series of his crucial loves and adversaries: family, landscape, history, faith, his fellow poets and teachers. Among this welter his voice rings out, modest but stubborn, gentle but keen, funny but quite serious, and always alert for the secrets to be found in such canny, lyrical explorations of the provinces."
--Jeff Gundy, commenting on previous poetry

Market: Anyone open to poetry that blends high craft with accessibility, faith, and passion.

Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature. BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry

Excerpts: Follow this link to see A Liturgy for Stones poems published in DreamSeeker Magazine.

The Author: The poems, essays, and reviews of Chicago-area resident David Wright have appeared in The Christian Century, The Mars Hill Review, re:generation quarterly, The Midwest Quarterly, The Mennonite Quarterly Review, and many other publications. His poetry for The Mennonite has been recognized by the Associate Church Press. A native of the Midwest, he has taught writing and literature at several colleges in Illinois. A Liturgy for Stones is his second collection of poetry. His work is also featured in the anthology A Capella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry.

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House (the new name of Pandora Press U.S.)
Imprint: DreamSeeker Books
Copublisher: Herald Press, Scottdale, PA (copupblication to be solicited, not confirmed)
Publication date: Spring 2003
Pages: 80
Format: 5.5 x 8.5 trade paper
Prices: $12.95 US, $18.95 Can.
ISBN: 1-931038-13-9

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Copyright 2002 by Cascadia Publishing House (the new name of Pandora Press U.S.)