New Books on Poetry

New Books on Poetry

                      Making Nothing Happen

Five Poets Explore Faith and Spirituality

Gavin D’Costa, University of Bristol, UK, Eleanor Nesbitt, University of Warwick, UK, Mark Pryce, Diocese of Birmingham, UK, Ruth Shelton, Director of Emmanuel House Day Centre, UK and Nicola Slee, Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, UK
‘All the authors in this collection agree that being committed to a religious form of words and practices is not simply ‘the conscious occupation of the mind praying’ (Eliot’s phrase) but a set of habits that allows, and eventually demands, space in us.  The authors write, poetry and prose alike, to demonstrate that these habits bring something to life, make space for others.  So this is a book about a coming to life and a coming to stillness, together and inseparable; a serious and joyful gift, for which this reader is deeply grateful.’

From the Foreword by Rowan Williams,
Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, UK


‘This thoughtful, generative interaction of poets is a welcome entry into the current struggle for and with faith among us. It is clear that the long-standing prose attempts of memo and proposition produce certitude and absolutism, but not much in the way of energy or courage or wisdom. These poets are knowing in thick ways, elusive enough to invite us to move with them, and critical in ways to hint at fresh connections. In all, a welcome resource.’

Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary, USA


‘Is religious poetry a brand of “minor poetry” as TS Eliot feared? Or can it, through forging new metaphors and enlivening old ones, provide a new music for this age of fragile faith and doubt? These are vital questions for Christianity, a faith founded on the poetry of the Bible, and this book by five leading poet-theologians is a timely and challenging contribution to the debate.’

Michael Symmons Roberts, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

This is a conversation between five poet-theologians broadly within the Christian tradition who together form The Diviners. Each poet offers a reflection on how they understand the relation between poetry and faith, rooting their reflections in their own writing, and illustrating discussion with a selection of their own poems and opening up issues for deeper exploration and reflection. This book will interest poets, theologians and all those committed to the practice and nurturing of a contemplative attitude to life in which profound attention and respect are offered to words and to the creative Word at work.


Contents: Foreword, Rowan Williams; Introduction; (W)riting like a woman: in search of a feminist theological poetics, Nicola Slee; Steady until sundown: searching for the holy, Ruth Shelton; Taking form: on becoming a Christian poet, Mark Pryce; Where poems come from: spirituality, emotion and poiesis, Eleanor Nesbitt; The miracle of poetry: divine and human creativity, Gavin D’Costa; Index.


Paperback 978-1-4094-5515-8 February 2014  230 pages  £19.99

Hardback 978-1-4094-5517-2 February 2014  230 pages  £65.00

Ebook PDF 978-1-4094-5516-5 February 2014  230 pages  £19.99

Ebook EPUB 978-1-4724-0694-1 March 2014  230 pages  £19.99


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