A few years ago I had lunch with a friend in Chattanooga. His name is Chris Slaten, and he’s an excellent songwriter, performing under the name Son of Laughter. I’m envious of his beard. I asked him how his songwriting was going, and since he’s a schoolteacher I wondered where and when he wrote. Did he have an office? He smiled between bites of tortilla chips and tapped his temple. “I do it up here,” he said.Read More ›
Years ago I was helping out in a Sunday School class, and the teacher asked the boys and girls what I thought was an unfortunate question.Read More ›
Being a writer doesn’t just mean writing. It means finishing. I’ve heard it said that a song is never finished, only abandoned. That’s not true for me. To the contrary, I can’t wait to be done with the thing, because only once it’s finished can I raise my hand at the back of the class and say something that will be considered, not ignored, something that might be a blessing to someone. Only then do I begin to take on some flesh and stop haunting the room. Walt Wangerin Jr. said once that art isn’t art until it’s experienced by another.Read More ›
You mumble a phrase. It’s gibberish, but it suggests a melody. You’ve gotten melodies in your head before, but this one feels different, like it’s made of something stronger and older. You notice this because you’re able to repeat it, and you like it, and you sing it again and again, enough times that you pull out your phone and record it. As soon as you get it down, you forget about it and move on.Read More ›
It’s time at last to announce some mind-blowingly good news: the North Wind Manor fundraising is complete. Thanks to a lot of extremely generous people (this means you), we were able to meet our goal just a few weeks ago—in fact, we exceeded it by a few thousand dollars. Do you realize how amazing that is? I’ll answer that for you. Very, very amazing.Read More ›
A year ago my family and I played a concert in Sheffield, England. After it was over we stood in a circle with four British friends and prayed. They were fans and supporters of the Rabbit Room, and we talked about the crazy idea of trying to pull off a Hutchmoot in the U.K. someday. The gist of the prayer was, “Lord, we’d love to do this. If it’s your will, please help us make it happen.”Read More ›
And now it begins. After forty days of fasting, after the harrowing darkness of Good Friday, after the long silence of Holy Saturday, after the dawn of Easter like a slow explosion of light over the greening hills of the Northern Hemisphere, we move into the joy of Eastertide. As much as I love that it all leads to Resurrection Sunday, I think my favorite part of the whole drama is today: Easter Monday.
The first time I heard Carolyn Arends in concert I was wrestling with no small amount of envy. She was opening for Rich Mullins on the Brother’s Keeper tour on November 12, 1995, and the show was at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. At that point I was in Bible College in Florida. I had only ever driven through Nashville on the way to somewhere else, but since I’d never seen Rich Mullins live, and since Jamie and I were considering moving to Music City to make a go at this whole songwriting thing, it seemed like as good an excuse as any to visit.Read More ›
It brings me great pleasure to tell you that, on the weekend of July 18-20, Hutchmoot UK is happening! And it brings me even greater pleasure to tell you that Hutchmoot UK is happening in Oxford—a short twenty-minute walk from the original Rabbit Room in the Eagle and Child pub. (It’s true. Google it.)Read More ›
Andrew Roycroft is a pastor and poet from Northern Ireland. New Irish Arts commissioned this poem this year, and artist Ross Wilson contributed a new painting for it. Merry Christmas from the Rabbit Room. God is with us.
Darkness, unspeakable and unspeaking
Darkness. Silence, not of contemplation,
Nor of craning, halt-breathed expectation,
But silence of the now non-verbal God,
Void quiet, out-of-form condemnation. Read More ›
[Editor’s note: On the first night of Hutchmoot 2018, Andrew Peterson suddenly took a break from his Resurrection Letters set to deliver a speech. As he made his way through the first few paragraphs, it became clear to everyone that some cherished soul in the room was about to win a very special award. Then, as the context clues came together, it was undoubtable that the recipient would be Ben Shive, seated modestly behind the piano on the far side of the stage.
Since the inception of the Rabbit Room community, we’ve believed that real relationship requires more than merely an online exchange of ideas. The last decade of creative work has taught us that an exchange of ideas needs to be accompanied by shared laughter, by the satisfaction of a shared meal, by the joy of friendship. We’ve realized the power of bringing big ideas into three-dimensional space inhabited by flesh and blood people.