As January is often a time when Churches, and indeed individuals, start to think about what they might take up as spiritual reading for Lent (as opposed to the myriad things they might give up!) I thought I might mention that my own ‘Lent Book’ is now out with Canterbury Press.
The Word in the Wilderness is an anthology which offers the reader a poem for each day of Lent, Holy Week and Easter, together with a short reflection of 700-800 words in which I open out that particular poem, set it in context and try to share something of what it has to offer. The book is shaped, over all by the theme of an accompanied journey through the wilderness with Christ, and has sections on pilgrimage, on prayer as conversation on the journey, and on the poets we read as fellow pilgrims. The poetry itself is drawn from a wide range of sources, from Dante to our own contemporaries.
The book could be used either privately as a devotional inner journey, just read at home each day, or the journey could be shared as a group, and this indeed is how it began. Last Lent at St. Edwards, I ‘road-tested’ the contents of this book with a group who agreed to read the poems at home each day and then meet once a week to discuss the previous week’s poems, which worked very well and elicited all kinds of new insights, for me as well as for the group members.
However you use it I hope you are able to get a copy and enjoy it. It is available on Amazon UK here, and in America here and in Canada here, and can of course be ordered via your favourite local bookshop. It is also downloadable now on Kindle
Finally I will be combining a launch of this book with a poetry reading of my own at Beautiful Sarum College in Salisbury on February 6th at 7pm, do come along to that event if you are free and in the area!