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No. 17



Showing Up Is Half the Work
A Writer's Life
Katherine Kellogg Towler
It would be wonderful if all that it took to become a good writer was inspiration. However, it takes discipline, devotion, and most importantly, hard work--in most cases, years of it. In this essay, an author shares her thoughts about the writing process and the need to cultivate a "holy space" in which to create.

David McGlynn
The concept of purity isn't one that is held in very high esteem these days. Our spiritual lives and emotions seem to follow our bodies into a netherworld where there is only isolation and the destruction of the self. David McGlynn recounts the story of a brutal crime that led to the loss of a treasured friend, and how that loss has changed his view of the body.

Back Rooms
Kevin Heath
"It should fill us with joy, really, every time, this abundance of hopeful detail in our lives, everywhere we turn." In this memoir of vacations spent in the Deep South, Kevin Heath describes the idiosyncrasies of family and the myriad events and places of his past in a world that "gives and gives, and will never stop giving."


Nietzsche and Nihilism
The Humanity of the Good
Jay Trott
When Friedrich Nietzsche declared "God is dead," he was attempting to embrace nothingness as a solution to the problem of good and evil. If there is no being, how can there be any value judgments? The author points to goodness, beauty, gentleness, and compassion as arguments against Nietzsche's philosophy of nihilism.

Recognizing the Holy
Kathleen M. Fisher
We know that Lassie was pretty good at getting Timmy out of scrapes, but what can she teach us about transcendence? Quite a bit, if one examines the lives of the saints. In this study, Kathleen Fisher recalls passages from the Bible and Celtic mythology that reveal the relationships between heroes or saints and animals that opened them to "mystical, spiritual, transcendental, sacred, or holy" experiences.

The Mars Hill Interview

Identity and Conversion
A Conversation with Julius Lester
Katherine Kellogg Towler
The son of an African American Methodist minister in the South, Julius Lester, a Jewish convert, has written numerous books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. In this revealing interview, he discusses the civil rights movement of the '60s, the Vietnamese War, and the role that Judaism is playing in African American cultural life in the present day.

Reminders of God

The Writing Life


Line of Duty
Albert Haley


Author's Prayer
Ilya Kaminsky

Marina Tsvetaeva
Ilya Kaminsky

Randall VanderMey

Diane L. Tucker

From The King Juke Poems
David Church

Views and Reviews

Interview: Somewhere Near Poetry
A Conversation with Richard Shindell
James A. Sparrell


MACHINA/The Machines of God, Smashing Pumpkins
Dave Urbanski

fold your hands child, you walk like a peasant, Belle & Sebastian
James A. Sparrell

Ballad Session, Mark Turner
Edward Gleason

Music Also Reviewed
Andrew Lee, Dave Urbanski, and James A. Sparrell



From Dawn to Decadence
A Conversation with Jacques Barzun
Gina Bria


Between Earth and Sky
Gay Writers on Faith
Thom Mannarino


Peanuts: A Golden Celebration, Charles Schultz
David Frauenfelder

The Gospel According to Peanuts, Robert L. Short
David Frauenfelder



Consider the Sea
A Reflection on The Perfect Storm
Thomas Becknell


The Cup
Elizabeth Currier

Keeping the Faith
Joan Zwagerman Curbow

Barrett Fisher

Films Also Reviewed
Scott Emmert and Joey Earl Horstman

The Editors

Mars Hill Contributors