Don Sheehan’s new book will be released shortly by Paraclete Press!
THE GRACE OF INCORRUPTION: THE SELECTED ESSAYS OF DONALD SHEEHAN ON ORTHODOX FAITH AND POETICS
Edited by Xenia (Carol) Sheehan with a Foreword by Christopher Merrill
Come and help launch the book!
Purchase your own copy and hear readings of poems with Don’s commentary
by poet Nicholas Samaras, David Sheehan, Xenia Sheehan, and Hierodeacon Herman Majkrzak
WHEN: Saturday, March 21, from 1:30 to 4:00
WHERE: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Germack Solarium, 575 Scarsdale Rd., Yonkers, NY
To receive your personal invitation, get directions, and RSVP, click on this link:
Professor of literature, teacher of poets and poetry, and convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Donald Sheehan wrote these wide-ranging essays with a commitment to understanding the ways in which the ruining oppositions of our experience can be held within the disciplines of lyric art—held “until God Himself can be seen in the ruins . . . and overwhelmingly and gratefully loved.” That is what Sheehan means by “the grace of incorruption.” Part One weaves together themes from his life and pilgrimages, the spiritual art of Orthodox saints, the literary art of writers such as Dostoevsky, Frost, and Salinger, and the philosophy of René Girard—examining the nature of penitence, personhood, freedom, violence, depression, and stillness. Part Two delves into the poetics of Psalms, especially LXX 118 (119): a “poetics of resurrection.”
“In the fourth century,” writes Sheehan, “when the Nicene Creed was composed by two separate councils some sixty years apart, the Greek word employed by both councils to describe God the Father was poietes, ‘poet,’ usually rendered in English as ‘maker’ … To repeatedly profess our firm belief in ‘one God, Father all-mighty, Poet of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible,’ is, I think, to disclose how very weakly and narrowly we usually conceive the essence of poetry. And in the light of the Creed, to conceive in weakness the essence of poetry is simultaneously to conceive in weakness the essence of God.”
Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea says of Don Sheehan that he “did not merely understand poetry; it was part and parcel of his own great soul.” Christopher Merrill writes in his Foreword to Don’s book that it “explores the mystery, music, and connections between faith and poetry with uncommon wisdom.”
Please join us in honoring a man who, in his 27 years as Director of The Frost Place, taught so many poets of the last century, in Cleopatra Mathis’ words, “an openness that allowed us to see the whole endeavor of being alive”; or, as Baron Wormser put it, a man “who honored poetry as a force to bring all of us into a deeper relationship with the sheer intensity of being alive as human beings, which is to say, as users of language.”
And if you haven’t seen this brilliant article about Don by a poet/student/teacher/writer, you might want to check it out: http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2013/08/06/the-transfiguration-of-don-sheehan-essay-hilary-mullins/