The Art of Pausing
Judith Valente will be reading from and discussing two new books this evening: The Art of Pausing, a collection of haiku-inspired poems exploring the 99 names of God, and Atchison Blue, a spiritual memoir that invites readers to share in her transformative pilgrimages to Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison, Kansas. Living among women whose Christian witness has recently come under Vatican scrutiny, Valente learned about the healing nature of silence and how to cultivate habits of mindful living. With the heart of a poet and the eye of a journalist, Valente ultimately find the courage to confront the aspects of her own fast-paced life that needed healing. She is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked atWTTW, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2004, her poetry collectionInventing an Alphabet won the Aldrich Poetry Prize, judged by Mary Oliver. She recently became a Benedictine Oblate. Valente lives in Chicago and Normal, Illinois.
"[Atchison Blue] is a generous book about an exceptionally generous community of women. Valente allows the reader to feel the warmth of Benedictine hospitality. It is a powerful thing to be accepted as we are, with all our faults and troubles, by people who are willing to listen. Valente is a good storyteller, and fortunately for us these women are willing to share their stories and insights from their daily encounters with scripture, pruning grape vines, human rights issues, the aging process and death, and the trials and joys of communal living." --Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk