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Meet the mind-blowing poet

June 11, 2014 --

bk-delighst-shadows
By Michal Ann McArthur, Bend
Author of Choking on a Camel

Her blog

Book Review: “Delights & Shadows,” a collection of poetry by Ted Kooser

I had never heard of Ted Kooser, but he intrigued me one night as I listened to him read his poetry on National Public Radio. His poems were gritty, homespun, down-to-earth. I liked that. I only found out later that he was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2004-2006 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for “Delights and Shadows.” Not bad for a man who spent much of his adult life working as a life insurance executive.

I like a poet who doesn’t mince around among unicorns and daffodils. I want to read lines that are arresting, thought-provoking, even mind-blowing, that skewer me with sharp insight or leave me breathless with wonder. When I read a poem, I want feel as though a film over my eyes has been removed and for the first time, I can SEE. Kooser’s poems do that for me.

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Review of Killing Jesus

June 5, 2014 --

bk-killingjesusMichelle Barnhart reviews “Killing Jesus” by authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

How in the world did a working class kid from a mediocre town in an obscure corner of the Roman empire end up getting himself executed for treason? In this book, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard look at the historical setting into which Jesus was born, as well as the religious and political climate of the day, and how those aspects played into Jesus’ life and death.

Although the authors are both Catholic, they aren’t trying to prove whether or not Jesus was the promised Messiah; instead they focus on the historical record of his life. And they don’t just tell what happened; they also explain why it happened, how it took place, and often the deeper significance of the event.

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