CPI | Christian Poetics Initiative

Exploring a Christian Poetics for the 21st Century

The Christian Poetics Initiative (CPI) addresses one guiding question: Is a Christian poetics for the 21st century needed, and if so, what should it look like?

We seek to foster a widespread conversation among those who want to explore the possibilities and parameters of this question, and encourage collaborative efforts that make a substantive contribution to contemporary literary studies.

We e-publish “Among Winter Cranes,” the CPI Quarterly, to communicate with those who are interested in this initiative.

We also host periodic Readers Colloquia as one way to explore critical facets of a Christian poetics. Both our readers and shared texts reflect the cross-disciplinary nature of the field of literary studies.

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Upcoming Events

To be announced.

Steering Committee

David Mahan, Rivendell Institute and Yale Divinity School
James Shivers, University of Connecticut
Anthony Domestico, SUNY Purchase
Tanya Walker, Rivendell Institute

Past Readers Colloquia

  • September 26, 2020 “‘The strength to bear life again’: The Poetry of Rebirth in Sylvia Plath, Lucille Clifton, and Luis Cernuda”
  • February 29, 2020 “The Abyss: Nietzsche, Futility, and Du Fu, an 8th-Century Chinese Poet”
  • November 16, 2019 “‘That Glorious Form, that Light insufferable’: Poetry of Incarnation in Milton and Hart Crane”
  • August 17, 2019  “Travel, Perspective, and Gender: Revelation in the Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop”
  • April 27, 2019  “Writing and Reading Death: Poetics, Reception, and Beliefs in Dialogue”
  • February 22, 2019  “Of ‘things unknown’: A Discussion of the Work of Thomas Traherne”
  • December 1, 2018  “Ancient Clarity Overlaid: A Discussion of Lawrence Joseph’s, So Where Are We?
  • August 25, 2018  “Marginalized Voices: Poems of African- and Native-American Experience.”
  • March 3, 2018  “Visual Poetics in/through Ancient and Experimental Texts: Works from St. Augustine’s Gospel, Charles Bernstein, and Susan Howe”
  • August 12, 2017  “Christian Reading Practices: Passages from Dante’s Purgatorio, with commentary by Jorge Luis Borges, and T.S. Eliot’s ‘Compound Ghost’ in Little Gidding
  • February 11, 2017  “Poetics Ancient and Modern: A Comparison of T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding and Virgil’s Ecologues

Past Issues: “Among Winter Cranes”

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Image: Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. (1909). Momoyogusa = Flowers of a Hundred Generations. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-cb13-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99