Guest Writers for 2014




Brett Foster’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Columbia, Hudson Review, Image, Kenyon Review, Literary Imagination, Missouri Review, Poetry East, Raritan, and Southwest Review. He teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at Wheaton College.  In Foster’s poems, theology, psychology, biblical scholarship, personal incident, reading, love—all are part of a seamless garment. At once playful and scholarly, emotional and intellectual, his poems use the lever of language to open human experience—in particular, our ongoing encounter with a transcendent and moral God. He demonstrates that raw feeling is not antithetical to a scholarly turn of mind, and that scholarship can coexist with graceful, elegant language.




A West Virginia native, Jessie van Eerden holds a BA in English from West Virginia University and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her work has appeared in The Oxford American, River Teeth, Image, Bellingham Review, Rock & Sling, and other publications. Her essays have been selected for inclusion in Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Rhetoric and Reader for Writers, Seventh Edition (Longman, 2010); Best American Spiritual Writing (Houghton Mifflin, 2006); and Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical (Cascade Books of Wipf and Stock, 2009). She was selected as the 2007-2008 Milton Fellow with Image and Seattle Pacific University for work on her first novel, Glorybound (WordFarm, 2012).

      Jessie has taught for over ten years in college classrooms and in adult literacy programs. She lives in West Virginia where she directs the low-residency MFA writing program of West Virginia Wesleyan College.




Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the Religion Department of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, the international journal of the book industry, is frequently quoted in print sources, electronic media, and innumerable blogs and web sites. Tickle is an authority on religion in America and a much sought after lecturer on the subject.

       In addition to lectures and numerous essays, articles, and interviews, Tickle is the author of over two dozen books in religion and spirituality, most recently Emergence Christianity-What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters, The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why and The Words of Jesus, A Gospel of the Sayings of Our Lord. She is also the author of the notable and popular The Divine Hours series of manuals for observing fixed-hour prayer: The Divine Hours – Prayers for Summertime, The Divine Hours Pray Today – The Divine Hours Prayers for Children (Dutton)– Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime, The Divine Hours – Prayers for Springtime, Eastertide- Prayers for Lent Through Easter from The Divine Hours, and Christmastide – Prayers for Advent through Epiphany from The Divine Hours (Doubleday); The Night Offices from The Divine Hours and The Pocket Edition of The Divine Hours (Oxford University Press); and This Is What I Pray Today – The Divine Hours Prayers for Children (Dutton).