Chris Slaten

Singer-songwriter Chris Slaten releases music under the name Son of Laughter. His most recent recording, No Story Is Over, was made possible by the generosity of listeners who hosted and attended his house and church shows across the country. He’s currently working on a musical about the life of Jacob, though he spends most of his time teaching high school literature in Chattanooga, TN, where he lives with his wife, Lyndsay, and their two delightful children.


Advent, Week Two: Faith

By Chris Slaten

The news was bleak. Despite decades of hit songs like “Blue Skies” and “Always” and enviable celebrity status under the pen name Irving Berlin (originally named Israel), by the turn of the 1930s America’s songwriter had peaked and was sliding with the stock market into oblivion. Not only was the country entering the Depression, but, more personal to Berlin, his only infant son had died on Christmas day in 1928, the new medium of the radio was killing his beloved music industry with free music, and he couldn’t seem to muster up any songs capable of fighting back the closing darkness. Though he plodded on with the habit of writing in the early 1930s, nothing he could pen would measure up in his eyes. As far as he could see his most joyous era was coming to an end, the country was collapsing, and the cliché phrases he daily penned were painful reminders of his draining well.

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Write Poetry with Your Kids

By Chris Slaten

“Writing poetry is too hard.” This is the offense I hear my high school students protest frequently. I get it, but I don’t think it’s entirely true.

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Joy Ike Wants You to Step Out That Box

By Chris Slaten

As I am writing about Joy Ike’s newest album, Bigger Than Your Box, my daughter is literally making a home out of a cardboard box on the carpet beside my chair. It is a house for our cat, Berdie.  Before Sally Ann finishes spelling out “Welcome” in marker on the front, Berdie is already inside, purring.

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Every Day is Voting Day

By Chris Slaten

On November 4, 2014, when I wrote the “Voting Day” poem that later turned into this song, I wrote it in the midst of what felt like a disproportionately high stakes rhetorical battle.  Read More ›

Valentine’s Day: We Need Not Go Far

By Chris Slaten

Late in the pre-kid dawn of our marriage, Lyndsay and I drove a packed-to-the-windows Honda Accord named “Donovan” from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Los Angeles, California—one last Read More ›

New Music: Little Sheep

By Chris Slaten

In 2013 our church commissioned several musicians to write songs for the annual Christmas concert. At the time I felt drawn to write about shepherds, because my own son, Shepard, was Read More ›

Flannery O’Connor: The Complete Stories

By Chris Slaten

 

This collection is essential to both long time fans and first time readers interested in the work of Flannery O’Connor. My first time to read a handful of her short stories I was helpless to interpret them. One would Read More ›