My obsession with stories of time travel is not rooted in physics but in grief. When my mother died when I was 14, it was almost as if I’d jumped tracks to an alternate plane, one where I was an orphan. In a life that no longer felt like my own, I spent hours … More Somewhere in Time
What is the relationship between silence, creativity, fear, doubt, death, and missing voices — especially in art and literature? I spoke with the hosts of Encountering Silence about why I teach Tillie Olsen’s “Silences” in all my creative writing classes, and about the relationship between silence and creativity, silence and privilege, silence and the body, … More The Silence of Missing Voices
There’s no woman so disparaged in Catholic and Christian circles—by men and women alike—as the angry feminist, the perceived man hater, the baker of “rage cookies,” as one popular columnist once described feminist writers. The angry woman is easy to mock. She has no real power. Anger makes us an even more prominent target. I … More The Prophetic Anger of Women
I’m back from three days in Grand Rapids, where I reconnected with spiritual writing friends and colleagues from all over the country for the 2018 Festival of Faith and Writing. The weather was pitiful, because Michigan, but the company was as delightful as ever. I don’t know how they do it, but the festival organizers … More Festival of Faith and Writing 2018: I think we need a password
Wherein we struggle to define exactly what it is I do, and David Dault settles on “curator of artistic communities for curious and wandering souls.” I like that title. Click to listen.
I’m really excited about collaborating with the Acoustic Chapel series at St. Gregory the Great in Chicago with my Love and Salt co-author Amy Andrews to produce Tales of Loss and Longing. Amy and I will both be reading new work and introducing The Stapletons, who created one of my favorite albums of 2017: Battles and Ballads. … More Tales of Loss and Longing: St Greg’s Acoustic Chapel Series, February 23 in Chicago
Religious horror is a film genre in its own right, and Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist are among my all-time favorites. But even horror movies that aren’t explicitly religious stoke my religious imagination, exploring questions of who suffers and why and to what end. The best aren’t the goriest but rather those that articulate or give shape to our … More Mother! isn’t just allegory. It’s another horror story about artists and domestic life.
I’m back from the Convivium literary festival and a whole weekend in Pittsburgh, one of my favorite places on earth, where I got to see some of my favorite people on earth and spend hours talking about art and religion and community. Check out my Instagram (@jmesgriff) for lots of great pics of St Paul’s … More Horror and the Religious Imagination: Grief, Mothers, and the Babadook
My vocation is to write. When I’m tempted to distraction or guilt over all the other work that needs doing in the church and the world, I must repeat this to myself: My vocation is to write. We’re all called to kingdom building, but words are the only tools that fit in my hands. When I’ve … More My Vocation
The term midlife crisis comes from the German torschlusspanik, which translates as ‘shut-door panic,’ — a fear of being on the wrong side of a closing door. Torschlusspanik isn’t just for the middle years of life, whatever those years may be. Sometimes the space on the other side of the door feels like dead space—an empty house or one less … More Torschlusspanik