Nancy Haught and Joseph Soldati
We are pleased to welcome Nancy Haught and Joe Soldati on Tuesday, March 6th, at 7 pm, to read from their respective books, Sacred Strangers and Sacrifices. Both books are intended to appeal to believers of all faiths, as well as to nonbelievers.
Haught's book, Sacred Strangers: What the Bible's Outsiders Can Teach Christians (Liturgical Press), retells and interprets Bible stories in which “strangers behave better than believers." What do these encounters with "others" -- people from different cultures, religions, genders, or economic and social classes -- teach us about our own spiritual values, about the faith and God behind them? In this book, the author leads readers through these stories, line by line, offering insight to open hearts to sacred strangers at a time when personal encounters can make us or break us -- as people, as Americans, and as citizens of the world.
Sacrifices: Retold and Untold Stories from the Bible (Outskirts Press) includes about forty poems, all in monologue form, about half from the Old Testment and half from the New. Soldati shows that such difficult stories that have long challenged our world are as essential and as relevant as ever today for all of us: believers, doubters, and atheists alike. His persona poems of familiar Biblical figures offer dramatic insights revealing untold truths that point up the intensely human poignancy, the underlying ambiguities, contradictions, ironies and, occasionally, humor that open these tales for further wonder and reflection. These men and women are good, just, sad, heroic, ecstatic, cowardly, scheming, cruel, perplexed, funny, vile, loving, hurting, angry, and alone.
Nancy Haught covered religion and ethics for The Oregonian for fifteen years. She grew up wary and suspicious of strangers, but after a career of interviewing them about their deepest religious beliefs, she learned a lot about her own. Sacred Strangers is her first book.
Joseph A. Soldati is a retired college professor, a Vietnam War veteran, and twice a Fulbright Fellow. He has been writing poetry since 1958 and is the author of a scholarly book and six poetry collections, including Sacrifices, and has published both poems and essays in a variety of literary journals and magazines. A resident of Portland, he has visited many countries and lived and studied in West Africa, Egypt, Mexico, and Europe.