Artifact Chat Podcast Releases New Episode

launch-ringIn this episode of Artifact Chat, my guest, Roland Miller, shares experiences accumulated over twenty-five years of photographically documenting and interpreting the United States space program including insights into his book of photography, Abandoned in Place: Preserving America’s Space History. Check it out at artifactchat.com

Americana-Themed Podcast Newly Released

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I’m excited to share that the latest episode of Artifact Chat, a monthly podcast of curated intersections between America’s past and present is now live. In this episode, “The Vintage Wedding Dress,” I sat down with Kristine Engel, curator of Meringue, a vintage formal wear boutique in Chicago’s Roscoe Village, to chat about the dresses in Kristine’s collection, the history of wedding fashion, and why re-imagined vintage is an aesthetic that appeals to modern brides.

Listen online or follow the iTunes link for a free download at artifactchat.com

Good Fences: A Lesson in Writing Concrete Images

This evening, my husband is walking the perimeter of our rental property and installing chicken wire over the gaps in our failing white picket fence. He has chosen the best time of day for this labor. Sun glazes the delicate new maple leaves and the unmowed grass and the marbled hastas planted along the line. In the yard, our dog romps back and forth, his tongue lagging from heat. He jumps up on sections of rotting fence, sending them slinging.

From where he is bent walling in the irises, my husband removes an ear bud and smiles at me and our two-month old, who I hold across my chest.

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“Good fences make good neighbors,” he says. Continue reading

Image Journal Turns 25

Image is a quarterly journal that publishes art and writing that contemplates the intersection between religious faith and modern culture. This spring the journal turns twenty-five, and I am excited to be among the writers featured in the anniversary issue! In addition to the Image blog, Good Letters, which provides thoughtful inquiry into a variety of contemporary issues on a regular basis (I highly recommend checking it out), each issue of the journal includes a preface from the editor, Gregory Wolfe. This issue, the preface is called “Cloud of Unknowing”. It reflects on the growth Image has undergone these past twenty-five years but also revisits the principle mission the founders set out to accomplish. Wolfe notes that art and faith inform one another and both are ventures into mystery. Wolfe explains, “In the early Christian church, a mysterion was a sacrament, which consisted of something ordinary that had been changed—shaped into an artifact by God and by man—and which enabled the grace of God to be sensed, as through a glass darkly.” Art can be a sacred venture between God and man, and, often times, art-making commences in a place of darkness or unknowing. This has felt especially true to me in writing the short story, “Tenebrae” which appears in the pages of the anniversary issue. Tenebrae means shadows or darkness, and Tenebrae services are traditionally held on one of the last three days of holy week leading up to Easter. It seems fitting to me that this piece would appear in an issue concerned with the veil between us and God.