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Dialogue Podcasts

Review: The Call to Empathy in Elizabeth Garcia’s Stunt Double: A Seminar in Three Bodies

1 week 1 day ago
By Tyler Chadwick Elizabeth Garcia. Stunt Double. Georgetown, Kentucky: Finishing Line Press, 2016. 31 pp. Paper: $14.49. ISBN: 9781944251833.   Preliminaries Prose will not capture some people, the way they drift. (1)   Hence, poetry: movement, flesh, breath. Poetry drifts among bodies, anticipating arrival on the tongue, in the ear. Give it place. Let it Continue Reading »
Emily Jensen

Hannah, I Miss You by Miriam Wagstaff

1 month 1 week ago
This article is in conjunction with the art featured in the new 2018 Winter Issue. Life is fleeting and fragile—you never know when it might flicker and go out. Like a quivering leaf in November, you never know if the next wind will be the one to detach that leaf and bring it fluttering to Continue Reading »
Emily Jensen

Q&A with Quincy D. Newell

1 month 2 weeks ago
 (This Question and Answer took place between Dialogue and Quincy D. Newell, an associate professor of religious studies at Hamilton College and co-editor of the Mormon Studies Review. Dr. Newell recently finished her new book, Your Sister in the Gospel: The Life of Jane Manning James, a Nineteenth-Century Black Mormon, which will be published by Continue Reading »
Emily Jensen

Elijah Abel Find – Why This Matters

1 month 3 weeks ago
For more articles like this, please visit the Fall 2018 Issue. Being a black Latter-day Saint and knowing that Elijah Abel was ordained to the priesthood reinforces my belief that God is no respecter of persons. This document has left even bigger doubts in my mind that the priesthood and temple ordinance ban was ever Continue Reading »
Emily Jensen

The Epiphany by Melodie Jackson

1 month 3 weeks ago
For more articles like this, please visit the Fall 2018 Issue. It was around midday. 12:30 to be exact. You can have some hallucinatory experiences around that time. Especially when you haven’t eaten and the kid in your last class just told his hell story of driving through “the ghetto” with a bat in his Continue Reading »
Emily Jensen

Dialogue Podcast #43 w/Don Bradley

2 months ago
In this Dialogue podcast Don Bradley discusses "The 116 Lost Pages Re-Discovering the Book of Lehi." From the Miller Eccles website: From an early age, Don Bradley has been intrigued with Mormon history. As an 11 year-old, he visited the Hill Cumorah with his parents and went looking for his own set of sacred records. While his search was unsuccessful, it did inspire a life-long enthusiasm for the history of the Church. After being admitted to the graduate program at Utah State University, Don started researching the little-studied aspect of Mormon history, the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon text lost by Martin Harris. Don believes the actual number of lost pages may be greater than 116.
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Dialogue Podcast #43 w/ Don Bradley

2 months 2 weeks ago
In this Dialogue podcast Don Bradley discusses “The 116 Lost Pages Re-Discovering the Book of Lehi.” From the Miller Eccles website: From an early age, Don Bradley has been intrigued with Mormon history. As an 11 year-old, he visited the Hill Cumorah with his parents and went looking for his own set of sacred records. Continue Reading »
Emily Jensen

Review: Adam S. Miller. “The Sun Has Burned My Skin: A Modest Paraphrase of Solomon’s Song of Songs”

2 months 3 weeks ago
Lost in Translation Adam S. Miller. The Sun Has Burned My Skin: A Modest Paraphrase of Solomon’s Song of Songs. Salt Lake City: BCC Press, 2017. 68 pp. Paper: $7.95. Reviewed by Robert A. Rees. Dialogue, Summer 2018. In my review of Adam Miller’s wonderfully imaginative and provocative book of criticism, Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology (2012), I stated: “At times, Miller seems as much poet as theologian. Essay after essay does what Robert Frost says poetry is supposed to do: ‘begin in delight and end in wisdom,’ although at times Miller’s essays begin in wisdom and end in delight. In reality, Miller’s writing is often theology as poetry.”1 Miller’s newest rewriting and reconfiguring of a sacred text (albeit one not universally regarded as scripture) causes me to slightly alter that assessment: “Miller’s writing is sometimes poetry as poetry.” In other words, his riff (“a rapid energetic often improvised verbal outpouring”2) on Solomon’s Canticle or Song of Songs owes as much to his poetic as to his critical skills. Like Miller’s midrashim on Romans and Ecclesiastes (respectively, Grace is Not God’s Backup Plan and Nothing New Under the Sun), The Sun Has Burned My Skin both renews and expands our understanding of the text.
Andrew Hall

Review: Lance Larsen. “What the Body Knows”

2 months 3 weeks ago
“Twisted Apples”: Lance Larsen Takes on Prose Poetry Lance Larsen. What the Body Knows. Tampa, Fla.: University of Tampa Press, 2018. 83 pp. Hardback: $25.00. Reviewed by Darlene Young, Dialogue, Summer 2018 What makes something a poem? How do you recognize one, even if it has no broken lines? For most of us who read and love poetry, the answer is, “I just know.” There is the buzz of new vision from a surprising metaphor or imaginative framing, the sensual delight of rhythm and rhyme. But even more, there is the feeling. A good poem sends sparks through our synapses, makes us feel more alive. “I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off,” says Emily Dickinson. It’s visceral. It seems appropriate, then, that poet Lance Larsen has titled his latest (fifth) collection, which consists entirely of prose poetry, What the Body Knows. What the reader “knows” after experiencing this collection is what poetry feels like, even when it’s in paragraph form. Because Larsen, former Poet Laureate of Utah and winner of the Pushcart Prize (among others), is a master of poetic language—sound, imagination, image, and metaphor.
Andrew Hall

Review: Stephen Carter, ed. “Moth and Rust: Mormon Encounters with Death”.

2 months 4 weeks ago
Traveling “the undiscovered country” Stephen Carter, ed. Moth and Rust: Mormon Encounters with Death. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2017. 257 pp. Paper: $23.95. Reviewed by Susan Elizabeth Howe. Dialogue, Summer 2018 Death comes into our lives all too often; we don’t seek it out. As much as possible, we focus on essential, everyday concerns and keep death in the distance, at the edge of the horizon. Consequently, it is something of an anomaly to find a book of essays, poetry, fiction, drama, and art whose organizing subject is death. Asked to review Moth and Rust, I opened it with trepidation, not particularly eager for such a long and intense engagement with, as Shakespeare calls it, “The undiscovered country from whose bourn / No traveller returns” (Hamlet 3.1.80–1). But this collection has been an altogether satisfying and thought-provoking read. It is original and extremely well-written, and the authors’ musings about and personal experiences with death have left me with much to consider. As I began to read, I immediately noticed that each of the forty-six authors is intelligent and talented and has an extensive publishing record. These writers care about words and use them well, the evocative and mellifluous title Moth and Rust being the first example of such care. The excellence of both the prose and the poetry is one of the greatest pleasures the book offers. Flannery O’Connor said that in a literary work of art, the method of presenting the work (the language with which it is written and how that language is arranged) is an aspect of the art and can’t be separated from it; it is impossible to summarize what a piece says, because the very way of conveying the story or ideas is an inseparable aspect of how and what the work means. The individual pieces in this collection function in that way, offering more than a reader can comprehend in a single reading. Furthermore, I can describe them only incompletely; there is so much more to be gained by reading them one by one.
Andrew Hall

Review: Stephen Carter, ed. “Moth and Rust: Mormon Encounters with Death”

2 months 4 weeks ago
Not Alone Stephen Carter, ed. Moth and Rust: Mormon Encounters with Death. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2017. 257 pp. Paper: $23.95. Reviewed by Cristina Rosetti. Dialogue, Summer 2018 Death is one of the great anxieties and mysteries that permeate human existence. Through various art forms, and across different contexts, people have sought to alleviate the sorrow and grief that stem from death. Moth and Rust: Mormon Encounters with Death is one such piece of art. In the opening pages of his introduction, editor Stephen Carter indicates that this text is not a “how-to guide to help you overcome grief” (xi). Rather, it is “a sharing of raw emotion that may only add to your anxiety, but will remind you that you are not alone” (xi). The volume, comprised of a compilation of essays by authors such Devery Anderson, Steven L. Peck, Boyd J. Petersen, John Hatch, Lisa Torcasso Downing, Phyllis Barber, and Eugene England, lives up to this promise.
Andrew Hall

Review: George B. Handley, “Learning to Like Life: A Tribute to Lowell Bennion”.

2 months 4 weeks ago
A Life Worth Living George B. Handley. Learning to Like Life: A Tribute to Lowell Bennion. Self-Published, CreateSpace, 2017. 122 pp. Paper: $12.99. Reviewed by Zach Hutchins. Dialogue, Summer 2018 The highest achievement for a volume of Festschrift is to prompt readers to revisit the life and teachings of that individual in whose honor it has been composed and move them to act in furtherance of the honoree’s legacy. Handley’s slim collection of essays, whose proceeds benefit the Birch Creek Service Ranch inspired by Lowell Bennion’s ranch in the Teton Valley, accomplishes both tasks. Before I began reading this book, I knew of Bennion only anecdotally, as an author of lesson manuals for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But as I read Learning to Like Life, I found myself searching bookstores for copies of Bennion’s books and printing off Birch Creek application forms. Handley’s essays capture the worldview of a man whose life and teachings were radical with respect to twentieth-century values in precisely the same way that New Testament Christians were considered radicals by their contemporaries. Handley begins the book with an anecdote that sets the tone for his meditations on the life and legacy of Lowell Bennion. Describing Bennion’s death in 1996, Handley recalls that

President Gordon B. Hinckley, the President of the LDS church at the time and [Bennion’s] former neighbor, commented at his funeral that he had seen a lot of cars in the church parking lot that day that Lowell Bennion would have never driven. . . . [Bennion] was not afraid to suggest that people ought not to own homes and cars that were too big and too expensive because he knew how much these things distract us from our deeper purposes. (9)

Andrew Hall

Review: Linda Sillitoe, “Owning the Moon”

2 months 4 weeks ago
Helping Us Think and Be in the World Linda Sillitoe. Owning the Moon. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2017. 200 pp. Paper: $22.95. Reviewed by Lisa Bickmore, Dialogue, Summer 2018 In 2016, the poet Solmaz Sharif said, “More and more, I am becoming convinced that poetry is not a form of writing, but a form of reading. And a form of thinking and being in the world.” I recalled this remark as I was reading Owning the Moon, the book of poems by Linda Sillitoe, published posthumously by Signature Books. I’m struck by the aptness of the remark for Linda’s last poems, which are both a great gift to us, now several years after her too-soon passing, and a reminder of what we lost in her. While these poems must have been written over the course of many years, they seem aware of their own lateness—of what has been lived and then lost, of what has been taken, and what has been relinquished. It is awash in memory, beautifully reconstituted, animated, revived. This is one of the things, I think, that Sharif means when she says that poetry is “a form of reading”—that is, it holds the text of the world and inspects it closely. Poetry can also give form to the ways we think and are in the world, and Sillitoe’s book is engaged in this life-altering work.
Andrew Hall

Review: Todd Robert Petersen, “It Needs to Look Like We Tried”

2 months 4 weeks ago
Todd Robert Petersen’s It Needs to Look Like We Tried is an intentionally unpleasant book. It has unlikeable central characters, an almost claustrophobic narrative style, and a plot that veers from unhappy narrator to unhappy narrator, all of which serve to hammer away at the book’s core theme: how easy it is for people to prioritize appearance over substance, causing irreparable harm to themselves and to everyone else who crosses their way. Of course, this is by no means a unique insight, and when it comes to lampooning human self-deception, hypocrisy and pretension, It Needs to Look Like We Tried treads ground explored by classics such as The Clouds(Aristophanes), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare), Tartuffe (Molière) and Catcher in the Rye (Salinger). Of course, a contemporary novel is not necessarily expected to stand equal to work that’s been beloved for centuries, but it would be nice if It Needs to Look Like We Tried offered something original or engaged with its well-worn theme in a way that added to the conversation.
Andrew Hall
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