Thursday, May 06, 2010

Grand Rapids — Martin

Something special is in the air come the middle of April — every other year — in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s when a massing occurs, a migration, a gathering of writers from across the continent, including some of the best known of their various genres. The Festival of Faith & Writing is the place to be for anyone who loves Christian writing, and particularly for those who engage in the writing itself.

Start a list of the very finest Christian writers in whatever genre you most enjoy, and chances are they’ve appeared at the festival. What is particularly amazing is how many of them appear in the same year. The festival also broadens to include writers of other faiths, and secular writers who address well the issues of faith.

It is the poets who interest me most. This year Luci Shaw, Robert Siegel, Scott Cairns, Christian Wiman, Jeanne Murray Walker, and several other top-notch Christian poets appeared. In 2008, I was delighted to meet Paul Mariani, Franz Wright and Rod Jellema — to name a few.

Many Canadians make the biannual trip — particularly from southern Ontario. Four friends from my writers group came this year, as well as a number of others I know. Hugh Cook presented a workshop, and Rudy Wiebe, was another speaker. I didn’t get a chance to catch either of Rudy’s presentations, because there was too much else going on. In most time slots there are ten different options, most of which don’t require preregistration.

This was my fourth visit to the festival, and am already planning to attend in 2012. My report following festival 2008 is available here

Here's a link to the festival website.

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D.S. Martin is Music Critic for Christian Week. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at:

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

It's great to know, Don, that Canadians of our own TWG circle -- such as yourself -- attend the Grand Rapids conference, and have also been involved in the faculty, as was so with Hugh C. and Rudy W.
Thanks for telling us about it.

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