My dear friend and fellow writer Brian Doyle died at 60 on May 27. Like many people who knew him or had simply read his marvelous books, I felt the loss deeply and wanted to remember him in some way, so I contacted Notre Dame Magazine, the alumni magazine for his alma mater, about writing a piece on him, focusing on his place in the Oregon literary community and at the University of Portland, where, over 25 years, he turned the alumni magazine, Portland, into one of the best magazines of any kind in America.
I’m collecting stories and thought about Brian for my piece now and will be writing it over the next couple of weeks, for publication in the magazine’s fall issue. If you knew Brian or have had a profound experience with his writing, please send your stories or thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a link to one of Brian’s many astonishing essays, Joyas Voladoras, about the hummingbird and the heart. It was selected for Best American Essays 2005.
To see Brian talking about his writing and his life, view Oregon Public Broadcasting’s 2015 eight-minute ArtBeat feature on him here.
Peace activist Jim Forest, who has written biographies of Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day, has published a warm and intimate review of Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax in the latest Catholic Worker newspaper. This review is especially pleasing to me because Lax was a great believer in the things the Catholic Worker stands for: peace and voluntary poverty in service to the truly needy. Lax knew CW founder Dorothy Day and was a frequent guest at CW headquarters in NYC, where he once read his poetry (and I read from Pure Act back in September). You can read the full review here: http://www.robertlax.com/jim-forest-reviews-pure-act-in-the-catholic-worker/
My writing about Lax has been mentioned in a couple of other online posts:
Prophetic Voices: Martin Luther – William Barclay – Robert Lax–written by Lawrence Birney, whose Pure Vision Foundation supports a number of great causes, including The Thomas Merton Prison Project (to which my publisher just donated four copies of Pure Act).
- The Pure Act of Robert Lax–a lovely meditation on living humbly in the moment by a blogger named Robert Sylvester, inspired by my essay on Lax, Poetic Man of God, in the Winter 2015-16 issue of Notre Dame Magazine.