Chris Yokel

Chris teaches writing and literature to college and high school students. He is the author of several books of poetry, and has released several albums of original music. He is also an amateur photographer, part-time stick-swordfighter, and chai enthusiast. He and his wife Jen enjoy reading, writing, and exploring the cities, coasts, and forests of New England.

Taylor Leonhardt’s River House

By Chris Yokel

Every once in awhile, an artist and album comes around that takes you by happy surprise. North Carolina native Taylor Leonhardt’s album River House was that album for me in 2017.

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The Right to be Ridiculous

By Chris Yokel

“The right to be ridiculous is something I hold dear” -Bono

I’m in the middle of a frozen pond. I’m on my knees, butt hiked up in the air as I scrunch down with my phone. What the heck am I doing? I’m capturing this picture: Read More ›

Rabbit Reads: The Age of Dragons

By Chris Yokel

The Age of Dragons Series by James A. Owen (Simon & Schuster, 2015, 2016)
Fiction/Fantasy/Young Adult

Why We Love It: Who wouldn’t love a series where J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams become guardians of a map to a parallel fantasy world that contains Read More ›

Porter’s Gate Presents Work Songs

By Chris Yokel

These days, worship music is an entire sub-industry in the realm of art. There are conversations over the nature and performance of said music, and about as many worship traditions as there are denominations. Read More ›

Diving Into Lent (through books, film, music, & a podcast)

By Chris Yokel

While I have long been an appreciator of the church calendar, Lent is the season that I have taken the longest to appreciate, mostly due to shallow evangelical understandings of Roman Catholic traditions (fish on Fridays?). Read More ›

On Being “Original”

By Chris Yokel

This post is adapted from a talk given at Hutchmoot 2016. 

T. S. Eliot is one of the most iconic poets of modern times. In fact some would probably label him one of the most original poets of the 20th century. And yet, when we study his own philosophy and poetry, Eliot does not seem all that interested in being “original” in the sense that we understand it. He is rather, as Thomas Rees puts it, a “master of eclectic synthesis.” Read More ›

Peter Mayer’s Midwinter

By Chris Yokel

Several months ago, I was browsing through the music section at one of my favorite thrift stores when I stumbled across an unusual looking Christmas album. Rather than the glossy, glowy sheen of most holiday album covers, Read More ›

Bon Iver’s 22, A Million: Searching For Light

By Chris Yokel

Bon Iver’s highly anticipated third album is out in the world now. Being a fan of Justin Vernon’s unusual music, I was excited about the new release, but then began to hear that the album was super experimental, Read More ›

RR Interview: Jonny Jimison, creator of The River Fox

By Chris Yokel

Jonny Jimison is the creator of the five-volume graphic novel series The Dragon Lord Saga. I had the opportunity to talk with Jonny about his career as a visual storyteller, what inspired him to create this series, a non-definitive ranking of The Legend of Zelda games, and Read More ›

“Imagination”: A Visual Poetry Collaboration

By Chris Yokel

[Editor’s note: We love it when people collaborate. This new work by cartoonist Jonny Jimison and poet Chris Yokel is what happens when friends create together. Simple and elegant. More please.] Read More ›

The Broken, Beautiful Jerks of Wes Anderson

By Chris Yokel

From what I can remember, my first experience of Wes Anderson’s work was watching The Royal Tenenbaums. I don’t remember exactly how long ago this was, or the circumstances, but I do clearly remember that after it was over my response was pretty much, “Well, that was weird.” Read More ›

In Praise of the Purposeless Ramble

By Chris Yokel

Over the past few years, I’ve attempted to create space in my life for solitude and reflection by going for walks, often in one of the many nature preserves that surround the area I live in. But what I’ve noticed, especially in the busiest seasons, Read More ›