One-hundred eighty-two years ago today, Joseph Smith officially organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since then, as most of you know, it has grown exponentially. A flourishing culture of arts and letters has accompanied this growth.
As you may also know, April is National Poetry Month. Inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, this month is intended—among other things—to raise the profile of poetry in American culture.
My intention with this post is to commemorate both of these events by announcing a new website—my newest online venture—that explores the intersection between Mormonism and poetry. The website: Fire in the Pasture: Mormon Poets / Poetries / Poetics. Here’s a little bit about the site (from the About page):
[Fire in the Pasture: Mormon Poets / Poetries / Poetics] is maintained by Tyler Chadwick, poet, literary critic, and editor of Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poets. (Excuse the following abrupt slip into the first-person.) It began as a project I pursued on my original blog, chasing the long white cloud, during National Poetry Month 2009. In that project I linked to and discussed a poem a day by a Mormon poet. I’d always intended for my Mormon Poetry Project (as I called it) to extend beyond that single month of postings and, after the anthology was released in October 2011, I picked it up again, this time on my tumblelog, Tyler Chadwick: Mormon Poets / Poetries / Poetics. I began to offer my readings then as a way to promote the book specifically and poetry generally and, I hoped, to spark broader discussions about Mormon poets, poetries, and poetics. But after realizing that Tumblr wasn’t giving me quite the archive I wanted, I laid down roots here and imported and reformatted my Tumblr posts to make the cache more accessible and user-friendly.
My intention is for this site to serve as an extension of the work begun with both my Mormon Poetry Project and with Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poets. It does this, first of all, by highlighting the poets included in the anthology and by exploring their poetry in greater depth, most often one poem at a time, though I’ll be posting other explorations, including book reviews, too. Secondly, it highlights other poets with ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who, for whatever reason, were not included in the anthology. And all to the end—again—of promoting poetry (including the anthology) and of sparking broader discussions about Mormon poets, poetries, and poetics.
(Read more about FireinthePasture.org here)
So if you’re at all interested in the work of Mormon poets, poetries, and poetics, come venture a look. I’ll start posting new stuff next week.