Writing at The Porches – An interview with Trudy Hale – part 2 of 3

In the first part of my interview with Trudy Hale, editor of Streetlight magazine and owner of The Porches writing retreat, we discussed the relationship she developed with a neglected farmhouse in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains.  In this segment, we talk about the writing.  (And all the ways we contrive not to.) The Porches […]

What can the Rural Church Offer a Declining Community? Hope!

From the Faith & Leadership newsletter, an article by Allen T. Stanton: “In a community of decline, hope becomes countercultural. While it would be wrong to foster a false sense of optimism or to promise that manufacturing and young adults will return, the church has a unique ability to stand in the hard realities and still preach […]

This Old House: The Love Story – an interview with Trudy Hale, part 1 of 3

There’s a great love story going on up in the Virginia foothills rolling up to the Blue Ridge.  Actually, there’s a bunch of them.  Every writer that finds his or her way to Trudy Hale’s writing retreat in the little village of Norwood discovers something to love. I’ve got my list: The big stony bluff […]

Dismantle Confederate Memorials? Let’s Build Some Different Ones

A Robert E. Lee monument is dismantled in New Orleans.  A torchlight rally in Charlottesville, Virginia to protect another one.  A lieutenant governor candidate in Virginia calls for removing all Confederate memorials and renaming all highways and buildings named for Confederate leaders. William Faulkner had it right.  “The past is never dead.  It’s not even past.” […]

The Weird & Beautiful Vision of George Saunders: A Review of Lincoln in the Bardo

  You would not think that a full-scale recapitulation of Ecclesiastes would make a great bestseller.  Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!  This human thing is an exercise of unknowing.  I know that there is nothing better than that they should eat, drink, and experience pleasure in their hard work.  This is the philosophy of the […]

James Baldwin’s Moment and the Danger of Racial Innocence

James Baldwin is having a moment, 30 years after his death.  First, Ta-Nehasi Coates’ Between the World and Me, a book that drew its inspiration from Baldwin’s 1963 book The Fire Next Time, topped The New York Times’ bestsellers list.  Then, a documentary about Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro, was nominated for an Academy […]