Fascinating essays. The editors of the new anthology of essays A God in the House: Poets Talk about Faith, Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler, in their introduction, write, “Irony holds sway over much of our public intellectual life, and a dialogue about faith asks us to set aside irony for a direct engagement with beauty, hope, doubt and fear.” I love the analogy Li-Young Lee makes in his God in the House interview: “[People who read poetry have] heard about the burning bush, but when you write [poetry], you sit inside the burning bush, which is different.” For their book, Kaminsky and Towler interviewed Muslim, Buddhist, pagan, Christian, Jewish and other poets who have sat inside the burning bush: the collection includes revered poetic elders and relative newcomers from all over the aesthetic spectrum.
Whitman himself probably would have been awestruck by 19 prominent poets interviewed in God in the House. Editors Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler gathered a diversity of visionaries that make nearly everyone feel welcome, from atheist to orthodox. In these interview-essays [by] authors such as Grace Paley…faith and poetry are not inimical, but parallel ways of entering into the great mystery of being. The anthology gives courage to seekers for whom religion is just the beginning.
Here’s a collection we’re confident people will keep by their bedside for years of re-reading. The work of editors Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler, A God in the House, gathers conversation with nineteen of America’s Leading poets, reflecting on their diverse experience with spirituality and the craft of writing. Burgeoning with insight and incandescent prose, A God in the House is the rare book in which celebration of religious diversity blossoms into unity: a chorus of voices for life, for awe, and for sheer delight of language.