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The Freedom to Do Nothing

Gnawing Guilt and Guiltless Grace

The True Churches on Adjustment Day

If, in these tenuous times, you’re the sort of person who’d enjoy a whale of a tale about societal collapse, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more inventive entry than Chuck Palahniuk’s Adjustment Day. Equal parts screwball satire and thinly veiled prophecy, the writer of Fight Club sends up our contentious culture with a riotous story of revolt and reorganization. Not for the faint of heart but in the right hands it could make a terrific cult TV series. The class revolution that culminates on ‘Adjustment Day’ begins in the basements of churches, which the demagogue at the center of the plot, Talbott, describes in vivid terms (while duct-taped to a chair):

“His tongue crowded with food, Talbott had cited the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Prior to it the dispossessed and powerless had gone to churches for comfort, and in those the disenfranchised had discovered they weren’t alone in their misery…

Choking and sputtering, Talbott had said, ‘Those groups… recovery and support groups are the new churches.’ He’d said that traditional places of worship had been reduced to crass theaters where people went to signal their status and virtues. A true church had to serve as the place where people went in safety to risk confessing their worst selves. Not to boast and display their pride. Those who attended recovery groups, they arrived defeated. They told the story of their failure. Their sins and shortcomings. To admit their culpability, and in doing so they receive a communion with their flawed peers.”

Compassion, Connection, and the Singular “With” of the Gospel

This is the Moment: His Presence in the Present

Offensive: On War Crimes and Forgiveness

Im Chaem and Why the World Hates Christianity

The Cross Brings Mercy and Comfort

Yesterday morning, Comfort sailed into New York harbor. A few days ago, Mercy arrived in Los Angeles. I’m not sure I have ever witnessed a more powerful image of the Gospel.

The End of Individualism

It Is Indeed Not Good for Man to Be Alone

Now Available: The Elegy Beta: And Other Poems, by Mischa Willett

Never before has Mockingbird published a book of poetry — but with The Elegy Beta, that changes. From critically acclaimed poet Mischa WillettThe Elegy Beta features impressionistic meditations on faith and everyday life. In concert with Rilke’s Duino Elegies, this collection simmers with luminous, transcendent language. It is elegant, sharp, and frequently funny.

The Elegy Beta is available today in hardcover and paperback. You can find it in our online bookstore, on Amazon, and elsewhere.

Meet the author at the book launch in Seattle on March 10, and RSVP to the event here. Willett will also read at MockingbirdNYC in April. You can find out more at mischawillet.com.

Meanwhile, early reviews are in:

“Mischa Willett has an absolutely distinctive voice, angular, refractory, often unsettling in flashes of psychological and spiritual insight that go deep, by-passing  categories. The Elegy Beta begins in sharp, arresting jolts to consciousness and conscience, then moves in the grand title poem to a symphony of symbolic resonance that invites deep pondering and re-reading. A remarkable volume.” – David Lyle Jeffrey, author of In the Beauty of Holiness

“Find a quiet spot where your tongue can delight your ears and read these poems aloud. For some you’ll want to kneel. For others, slap your thigh and guffaw. In some an epiphany will dawn like a sun surprising you at midnight. Dwell in the lilt of Willett’s play. He’s dead serious and death-defying.” – James K. A. Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Image Magazine; author of On the Road with Saint Augustine

“Here is a striking and original collection which responds to both our biblical and poetic heritage with a fresh contemporary voice. The best response to poetry is itself poetry and in Willet’s new sequence The Elegy Beta, Rilke’s great Duino elegies are reimagined in ways that will spur readers on to their own creative response.” – Malcolm Guite, author of After Prayer

“In a world awash in a flood of cheap chatter, and numb from the noise of ALL CAPS weaponizing of words, good poetry is a healing, sensitizing balm. Willett’s The Elegy Beta displays the capacity of poetic language to remind us of the world—its everyday glory and profound peculiarity—that gets lost in the noise. These poems neither weaponize nor worship words; they rather let words do their work, like the sun does its: warming, illuminating, drawing forth life.” – Brett McCracken, senior editor, The Gospel Coalition; author of Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community


A Disease Strengthened by Community

When Matters of Faith Intersect with the Tragedy of Disease

The New Mockingbird Digest!

Dear everyone,

We invite you to subscribe to our new e-newsletter, delivered conveniently to your inbox fortnightly (once every two weeks-ish). It will be a compendium of fresh posts, pertinent archived material, and other grace-filled goodies. Think of it, maybe, as your good-news news.

Note: If you are already subscribed to the Mockingbird mailing list, this is not the same thing. Add your email below to receive new content on a more regular basis.

Caught in the Current of Current Events: The Difference Between The News and the Good News

“The newspaper is the second hand in the clock of history; and it is not only made of baser metal than those which point to the minute and the hour, but it seldom goes right.” – Arthur Schopenhauer There’s a story that when Napoleon’s army was abroad at war, his mail would come only sparingly. […]

A Future Not Earned But Given (THE FUTURE ISSUE IS HERE!)

In celebration of the Future Issue hitting the PO today, here’s Issue 15’s Opener, as well as the Contents page. If you haven’t subscribed, the time has come! Like every person who sped through HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl, I immediately wanted to know what it all looks like today. After six-plus hours of radioactive waste and […]

Off to Print! The Future Is Coming…

We’re proud to announce…The Future Issue! Now available for pre-order! Shipments will be leaving our office at the end of this month…Table of Contents and Opener coming in the very…near…future