First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process

Emerson urges his readers to try anything—strategies, tricks, makeshifts—speaking not only of the nuts and bolts of writing but also of the grain and sinew of his determination. Richardson shows us an emerson who is no granite bust but instead is a fully fleshed, creative person disarmingly willing to confront his own failures.

Emerson’s advice grew from his personal experience; in practically every moment of his adult life he was either preparing to write, trying to write, or writing. Writing was the central passion of Emerson’s life. While his thoughts on the craft are well developed in “the poet, ” “the american Scholar, ” Nature, ” and “Persian Poetry, “Goethe, ” less well known are the many pages in his private journals devoted to the relationship between writing and reading.

Here, for the first time, and unconventional advice on the idea of writing, is the Concord Sage’s energetic, exuberant, focused and distilled by the preeminent Emerson biographer at work today. Emerson advised that “the way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent. First we read, then we write contains numerous such surprises—from “every word we speak is million-faced” to “talent alone cannot make a writer”—but it is no mere collection of aphorisms and exhortations.

Fearlessly wrestling with “the birthing stage of art, ” Emerson’s counsel on being a reader and writer will be read and reread for years to come. Instead, in robert richardson’s hands, the biographical and historical context in which Emerson worked becomes clear. Whether a writer by trade or a novice, every reader will find something to treasure in this volume.

Emerson: The Mind on Fire

Here is an emerson who knew how to laugh, who was self-doubting as well as self-reliant, and who became the greatest intellectual adventurer of his age. Richardson has, as much as possible, his letters, let Emerson speak for himself through his published works, his many journals and notebooks, his reported conversations.

The great spokesman for individualism and self-reliance turns out to have been a good neighbor, an activist citizen, a loyal brother. We see the failed minister, the political reformer, the struggling writer, the poetic liberator. The emerson of this book not only influenced thoreau, dickinson, Baudelaire, he also inspired Nietzsche, William James, Whitman, Fuller, and Frost, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, and Jorge Luis Borges.

Brings to life an emerson very different from the old stereotype of the passionless Sage of Concord. Now robert D. Richardson Jr. Drawing on a vast amount of new material, including correspondence among the Emerson brothers, Richardson gives us a rewarding intellectual biography that is also a portrait of the whole man.

These pages present a young suitor, a grief-stricken widower, an affectionate father, and a man with an abiding genius for friendship. The vitality of his writings and the unsettling power of his example continue to influence us more than a hundred years after his death. Ralph waldo emerson is one of the most important figures in the history of American thought, religion, and literature.

A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith Tupelo Press Lineage Series

Editors ilya kaminsky and katherine Towler have gathered conversations with nineteen of America’s leading poets, reflecting upon their diverse experiences with spirituality and the craft of writing. Bringing together poets who are christian, pagan, native American, agnostic, and otherwise, Wiccan, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, this book offers frank and thoughtful consideration of themes too often polarized and politicized in our society.

. Participants include li-young lee, gerald stern, and others, and Gregory Orr, Christian Wiman, Carolyn Forché, Jane Hirshfield, Joy Harjo, all wrestling with difficult questions of human existence and the sources of art.

Prayers of a Young Poet

Is volume marks the first translation of these prayer-poems into English. As rilke here writes, "I love the dark hours of my being, for they deepen my senses. ". He found himself entranced by Orthodox churches and monasteries, above all by the icons that seemed to him like flames glowing in dark spaces. His experience of the East shaped him profoundly.

He intended these poems as icons of sorts, gestures that could illumine a way for seekers in the darkness. Originally written in 1899, Rilke wrote them upon returning to Germany from his first trip to Russia.

Mystical Prayer: The Poetic Example of Emily Dickinson

In this book, charles murphy explores the still unfolding rediscovery of Emily Dickinson 1830–1886, our foremost American poet, as a mystic of profound depth and ambition. Teresa of avila and identifies her poems as expressions of what he terms theologically as "believing unbelief. Dickinson's experiences of love and her confrontation with human mortality drove her poetic insights and led to her discovery of God in the beauty and mystery of the natural world.

Murphy places dickinson's writings within the Christian mystical tradition exemplified by St. She declined publication of almost all of her hundreds of poems during her lifetime, who, describing them as a record of her wrestling with God, in the Puritan religious tradition she received, she found cold and remote.


William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism

After studying medicine, he ultimately realized that his true interests lay in philosophy and psychology, a choice that guided his storied career at Harvard, where he taught some of America’s greatest minds. The definitive biography of the fascinating William James, teaching, whose life and writing put an indelible stamp on psychology, philosophy, and religion—on modernism itself.

A magnificent biography. The washington Post. Often cited as the “father of american psychology, religious studies, philosophy, teaching, ” William James was an intellectual luminary who made significant contributions to at least five fields: psychology, and literature. But it is james’s contributions to intellectual study that reveal the true complexity of man.

Richardson has crafted an exceptionally insightful work that explores the mind of a genius, resulting in “a gripping and often inspiring story of intellectual and spiritual adventure” Publishers Weekly, starred review. A member of one of the most unusual and notable of American families, the novelist Henry James; and his sister, James struggled to achieve greatness amid the brilliance of his theologian father; his brother, Alice James.

In this biography that seeks to understand james’s life through his work—including Principles of Psychology, The Varieties of Religious Experience, and Pragmatism—Robert D.

Blue Horses: Poems

In this stunning collection of new poems, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life’s work, describing with wonder both the everyday and the unaffected beauty of nature. Herons, sparrows, artistry, and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, owls, and impermanence.

Humorous, and always honest, gentle, Oliver is a visionary of the natural world. Whether considering a bird’s nest, the seeming patience of oak trees, or the artworks of Franz Marc, Oliver reminds us of the transformative power of attention and how much can be contained within the smallest moments. At its heart, blue horses asks what it means to truly belong to this world, to live in it attuned to all its changes.


Transparencies of Eternity

They are his transparencies of eternity — a collection of poetic and spiritual chronicles in which the author draws transparent and multicolor stained glass windows, using as raw material the existence and the multiple faces of God: sometimes God is «an artist, who gathers the shards of my stained glass, smashed by random stoning, and places them again in the cathedral’s window so that the sun’s rays may shine through them again»; sometimes God is «a great, huge Emptiness that encompasses the whole beauty of the universe».

Love for love’s sake. God is not in the business of accounting God doesn’t add up either virtue or sins. And fears vanish». This is how love is. With such a God the universe becomes more humble. It is reasonless. Even more: god is a parent who doesn’t know how to add. No accounting of good or of evil. In this book are collected texts that masterfully comprise both a profound knowledge and the major existential questions of humankind.

It has no why’s. The texts flow with a simplicity of rare beauty, and the result could not be better: spirituality is presented through a new lens, attracting, instigating and enchanting readers who want to broaden their horizons.

He Held Radical Light: The Art of Faith, the Faith of Art

Seamus heaney opens a suddenly intimate conversation about faith; Mary Oliver puts half of a dead pigeon in her pocket; A. Ammons stands up in front of an audience and refuses to read. R. 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.

. A moving meditation on memory, death and fame, oblivion, and eternity by one of our most celebrated poetsWhat 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, heaven and oblivion.

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.

She Had Some Horses: Poems

A new edition of the beloved volume by Joy Harjo, one of our foremost Native American poets. First published in 1983 and now considered a classic, She Had Some Horses is a powerful exploration of womanhood's most intimate moments. Joy harjo's poems speak of women's despair, but also of their awakenings, power, of their imprisonment and ruin at the hands of men and society, and love.