Culture



How to Read Seamus Heaney (Part 1)

By Andrew Roycroft

When it comes to talking about poetry, there is often an invisible line that can prove difficult to navigate. On the one hand, in any mixed group of people, there will be those who are familiar with, and proficient in, how to approach a poem or a poet. Such people have found their own point of entry with poetic work, and need very little encouragement or instruction on “how to read.” On the other hand (and this may be the more sizable group), there are the uninitiated and slightly intimidated. They love words, they love poetic work, they have treasured a small bouquet of favourite pieces, but they live with a sense of alienation and inferiority about their approach. Aside from familiar lines, the idea of “studying” a poet sounds like a fearful enterprise, something which should only occupy those in the world of undergraduates or postgraduates.

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Making as Vocation: Is Art Commerce or Expression? (Homebound Session Preview)

By The Rabbit Room

In this special preview of their Hutchmoot: Homebound session, John Hendrix and Eddy Efaw discuss the age-old tension between art and commerce.

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Peanut Butter & the Marriage Supper of the Lamb

By Millie Sweeny

I bolted up the stairs, heart racing in response to my husband’s call. He was the calm one, the unflappable med student; that level of urgency in his voice froze my blood. Bursting into the bathroom, I saw. Our one-year-old son, his eyes and lips swollen, his perfect round baby belly splotchy with an ugly red rash. My husband, already on the phone with the pediatrician, asking, “Do we give Benadryl, or bring him into the ER for Epinephrine?”

Our life changed that moment.

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Hutchmoot Podcast & Video: Poetry, Imagination’s Wake-Up Call

By The Rabbit Room

The Hutchmoot Podcast features some of our favorite sessions recorded at our annual conference which celebrates art, music, story, and faith in all their many intersections. Today, it is our pleasure to share a session led by Malcolm Guite and Mark Meynell called “Poetry: Imagination’s Wake-Up Call” from 2020’s Hutchmoot: Homebound, in both video and audio form.

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Hutchmoot Podcast & Video: Ain’t Gonna Lay My Religion Down

By The Rabbit Room

The Hutchmoot Podcast features some of our favorite sessions recorded at our annual conference which celebrates art, music, story, and faith in all their many intersections. Today, it is our pleasure to share a session led by Buddy Greene and Odessa Settles called “Ain’t Gonna Lay My Religion Down” from 2020’s Hutchmoot: Homebound, in both video and audio form.

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The Garden at Hutchmoot: Homebound

By The Rabbit Room

The arts go far beyond words, melodies, and paintings. For instance, the art of gardening comprises much of what it means to faithfully cultivate God’s creation as bearers of his image—in Tolkien’s words, to “make still by the law in which we’re made.” One of our favorite parts of last year’s Hutchmoot: Homebound, then, was the garden, where we got to explore these themes in relation to the tangible tending and keeping of living things. This year, we’re excited to welcome to the garden Julie Witmer, Andrew Peterson, and Lanier Ivester.

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5&1, Part 25: Gazing Beyond the Stars

By Mark Meynell

Infinite space offers infinite inspiration. That’s because, in the immortal words of the late, great Douglas Adams, “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” So, as with almost every other playlist in this series, the number of potential inclusions is vast. Inevitably, here lies arbitrariness and exclusion—but I will pursue both with abandon.

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Reading with Open Eyes & Hearts: A Review of Steeped in Stories by Mitali Perkins

By Carolyn Leiloglou

Mitali Perkins is the author of many wonderful books for children ranging from picture books to young adult novels. But I first heard of her not through her books but through this article she wrote for Christianity Today in which she claims the classic books she read as a child paved the way for her to later accept Jesus. When I learned she’d be discussing these classic children’s novels in more depth in her new book, Steeped in Stories: Timeless Classics to Refresh Our Weary Souls, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

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5&1, Part 24: Haunted by the Clarinet

By Mark Meynell

No instrument exactly mimics the human voice, of course, but the clarinet comes close. A remarkably versatile instrument, it’s capable of producing rich, mellow tones as a result of its precisely turned wooden barrel. But within a hare’s breath, its sound can be transfigured into one of such piercing intensity that a single instrument can effortlessly cut through an entire orchestra, rising high above surrounding instruments in both tone and volume. This is because of the use of a single reed (a strip of vibrating cane attached to the mouthpiece—unlike the two reeds bound together on the oboe, the clarinet’s is fixed against the wood). The performer blows wind over the reed to make the sound, but it demands strong lungs managed by supreme breath control. That is simply to prevent it making ugly squeaks and screeches! To make it truly ‘sing’? Well, that requires incredible skill and experience.

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5&1, Part 23: The Calls of the Birds

By Mark Meynell

It is only natural that those of an artistic temperament will be drawn to the natural world. Forms of human creativity are almost bound to be captivated by aspects of divine creativity. Consider the landscapes of the Hudson River School (like those of Frederic Church or Thomas Cole); or the profound attention to nature’s exuberance in Vincent van Gogh or kaleidoscopic shifts in light in Claude Monet; or the human realities in the biblical story as captured by Rembrandt or Giotto. Then, when it comes to words, just a couple of minutes in Gerard Manley Hopkins’s company will awaken us to what we’re constantly surrounded by but too often overlook.

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A Path of Delight: Building the World of The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By Helena Sorensen

[Editor’s note: Our theme for today at North Wind Manor’s Opening Week is story, and this evening the Manor will host a Storytellers’ Night with Helena Sorensen, Andrew Peterson, Jennifer Trafton, Doug McKelvey, A. S. Peterson, and Jonathan Rogers. So here’s a piece from Helena about her journey from a flash of inspiration to a completed story in the writing process for her latest novel, The Door on Half-Bald Hill.]

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The Hutchmoot Podcast: The Striving Artist with Russ Ramsey

By The Rabbit Room

Tonight at the Manor, Russ Ramsey is speaking about the life and work of painter Henry Ossawa Tanner. So, as a companion piece to Kyra’s inspiring meditation from this morning, here is a session from Hutchmoot 2017 where Russ explores the life and work of another artist—Vincent Van Gough.

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