March 2011

Combatting my ignorance, opening my imagination

Amy Riley posted this interview on March 24, on her blog My Friend Amy. The interview was conducted as an email exchange, and was posted on the same day Amy posted her review of The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family.

Playing tuba

A poem written today at the Valley and Mountain Fellowship, Rainier Valley in Seattle. 

preaching consolation
I walk in beauty
my ears sharp to your voice
my eyes peeled for
any stray ray of light

when I visit the time and place
of my own death
I remember the future

when I feed the hungry
I feed my own soul
when I seek peace
I am delivered unto peace
when I listen to you
my voice is magnified

The Funeral of John R. Rice (and My Dinner with Jerry Falwell)

“THE SWORD OF THE LORD…and of John R. Rice.”—from the masthead of John R. Rice’s newspaper, which began publication in 1935. The following is an excerpt from Andrew Himes' book, The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family.

This I believe

soldiers huggingIn 2005 I produced a documentary film, Voices in Wartime, that uses poetry to explore the trauma of war, and over the past few years I have spent many hours talking to people about their experience of war. I’ve talked to classrooms full of students, and I’ve hosted community dialogues on war and trauma, and I’ve facilitated audience discussions after screenings of films about war.

Down in Joe Brown's coal mine

joe brown sr.In researching my book The Sword of the Lord, I learned that my great-great-great grandfather was a man named Dangerfield Rice, a poor Tennessee farmer who moved to Missouri in 1820 and to become a wealthy owner of a hemp plantation and the many slaves who worked the land. 

James Corder on the Subway in NYC

James CorderIn the summer of 1973, I was the director of the Selma Inter-religious Project in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Selma Project was a support organization for civil rights activists working in small towns located in the rural Black Belt across central and southern Alabama, southern Mississippi, and the Florida panhandle.