Some publications are well worth the wait: I submitted poems to this project in 2017, and about seven months later was informed that two had been accepted. And then, silence for nearly two years. But the editors had diligently been working behind the scenes, and despite the pandemic and the tragic death of Donna Walker-Nixon, one of the lead editors, A Fire to Light Our Tongues: Texas Writers on Spirituality has recently been released by TCU Press. Featuring work by such luminaries as Naomi Shihab Nye (the title is taken from her introduction to Sailing the Ocean: 100 Poems by Young Poets), Christian Wiman, A.G. Mojtabai, Rick Bass, Nan Cuba, Mary Helen Specht, Kevin Prufer and other well known Texas writers, it is “an eclectic work exploring spirituality, faith, and disbelief…” As serendipity (and maybe karma) would have it, I was touched to discover that my poem “La Grange,” on page 176, faces “A Stockyard Liturgy,” on page 177, a poem by my late friend D.G. Geis. The last time I saw Greg, we met at a restaurant in Bandera, Texas for a “losers’ lunch,” celebrating the fact that neither of us had won a poetry competition in which we’d both been named finalists.
Since I have poems in this anthology, I’m not going to offer a detailed review. But in all honesty I must state that A Fire to Light Our Tongues: Texas Writers on Spirituality is an exquisitely curated collection of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. Order it through your local bookstore, or through Amazon.
Edited by Elizabeth Joan Dell and Donna Walker-Nixon.