Spiritual improvisations, radiant acts of attention: echoing Thoreau's Walden, the meditations of Guy Davenport, and Kenny Moore's groundbreaking articles for Sports Illustrated, Thomas Gardner strides through inner and outer landscapes. Freed by disciplined effort, the runner's mind here roams and mourns and remembers.
"This might be the most beautiful book published in 2014. And not just beautiful: the thing's so overwhelmingly full of feeling (not *feelings*, though they're there, too—sorrow, frustration, moments of something like transcendence, something eventually like hope)—so pitched, so vivid and rich and direct—that it's hard both a) not to read the thing straight through, right when you get it and b) not re-read it almost immediately upon finishing it. While the book is a very attentive person's distilled journal kept during a year of tumult and the attempts at clarity that follow, it ends up reading—feeling—almost akin to something like instructions, hints of how to live and feel and think more presently, more fully. I can't imagine the person for whom this book doesn't offer something significant and lasting." –Weston Cutter
Tom Gardner is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech. He has published five books of literary criticism, the most recent being A door ajar: Contemporary writers and Emily Dickinson (Oxford, 2006) and John in the company of poets: The Gospel in literary imagination (Baylor, 2011). His creative work includes a book of poems, The mime speaking (1992) and two plays, both done in collaboration with Patty Raun: Ear, and I, and silence (2004) and Eurydice (2006). His collection of lyric essays entitled Poverty creek journal (2014) served as the basis for Theatre Art's Summer Arts Festival's presentations "Life in the trees" and "Down to breath." The entries in this year-long running journal, mostly focused on morning runs in the nearby Jefferson National Forest, reflect on the body, poetry, theology, family and grief.
Patty Raun's primary goal is to promote transformation by developing healthy and varied voices - both literal and figurative - in individuals, institutions, and communities. She carries out this goal in her position as founding director of the School of Performing Arts | Music | Theatre | Cinema. Raun is a Professor of Theatre with specialties in acting and voice. Her current research focuses on the use of the tools of the theatre to develop skills in human connection for science and technology professionals – helping them discover ways to be more direct, personal, spontaneous, and responsive.
The Visible Scholarship Initiative is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the University Libraries that seeks to make visible the stages of research and creative scholarship in the liberal arts and human sciences. Illustrating how faculty address key questions, employ varied methods, and produce significant results makes it possible to acknowledge and encourage research and creative activities that engage challenging questions and demonstrate sophisticated understanding.