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A Shimmer of Something: Lean Stories of Spiritual Substanceby Brian Doyle
Possibly poems, possibly really (really) short stories, possibly mini essays, Brian Doyle's "box poems" — smallish bits of writing with perfectly aligned edges and not one word short or long — are so perfectly exact, they seem utterly intriguing even before you start to read. (How, exactly, did he do that?)
Doyle is a man who lives and breathes stories, and this slim book is stuffed with them. The almost worshipful view Doyle has of life's minutia is sometimes breathtaking — how does he articulate so clearly the myriad things that catch his attention (things that very few of us ever even notice)? Doyle writes, "Maybe we guzzle forty stories with every breath we draw and they soak into us and flavor and thicken and spice the wild stew we are." Doyle's style is so offbeat and unusual, every time I read him, I envision all his stories lined up inside him, so tightly packed that they escape in a giant, gorgeous burst of words and laughter.
Synopses & Reviews
Prose poems, chants, litanies, simple songs, cadenced prayers, brief bursts of rhythmic observation, elegies to little moments that are not little at all in the least whatsoever—welcome to the melodic world of Brian Doyles proems,” swirling with voices unreeling tales, souls telling stories, moments photographed with ink. Accessible, easy to read, blunt, brief, and sometimes unforgettable, these are not poems,” says the author, but life set to the music of poetry.” In A Shimmer of Something, Brian Doyles characteristic humor and sincerity combine to make this collection a delight to read. From his conviction that miracles breed ripples that do not cease, to his lack of faith about the life of an elderberry bush, to the amusing story of a friends experience of driving the Dalai Lama to Seattle, to the humorous experience of his second Confession, to an intimate story of love and loss, Doyles lean stories of spiritual substance inspire, entertain, and captivate.
About the Author
Brian Doyle is the editor of the University of Portland's award-winning Portland Magazine, and the author of many books, among them the spiritual essay collections Grace Notes, Leaping: Revelations and Epiphanies and a new collection of his spiritual essays, The Thorny Grace of It (Loyola Press). Brian's own essays have appeared in U.S. Catholic, First Things, Christian Century, America, The American Scholar, Harper's and The Atlantic Monthly.
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