It’s that time of the year: literary prize season. I used to follow, rather avidly, the lists of various prizes for literature, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and reporting. But times change, and so do lists. Literary lists are supposed to be about quality, and I would review whatever would win the Eliot Prize, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and others. Now they seem to be more about checking various political boxes. It’s unfortunate, but our literary culture is suffused with this stuff now. If you’re interested, six works made the Booker Short List, and four made the 2023 Dos Passos Prize short list. The T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize short list will be announced in a few weeks.
Each day in October, Paul Brookes is posting a video of him reading a sonnet from his collection As Folktaletellerand inviting people to submit their own poems.
We might moan and groan about it, but the fact is that we love the culture war. We can hanf]g out with our tribes and point out how ignorant the other side is. Pierre d’Alancaisez at The Critic Magazine argues that the culture war has become the culture
More Good Reads
Life and Culture
5 myths about mental illness – Tom Karel at Crossway.
Now is the Time to Renew History Departments – David Randall at James Martin Center.
The Woman Who Stood Up to the Porn Industry—and Won – Nancy Rommelmann at The Free Press.
Thirteen-Hour Days: Did Jonathan Edwards Neglect His Family? – Don Whitney at Desiring God.
The Living Water: An Introduction to 50 Holy Wells – Paul Kingsnorth at The Abbey of Misrule.
Something Flimsy as Stone – Tim Challies.
Marriage is a Steel Trap – Darryl Dash at DashHouse.
The Last of the Romans: Charles Carroll of Carrollton – Bradley Birzer at The Imaginative Conservative.
How Bleeding Kansas Led to the Civil War – Nadra Kareen Nittle at History.
The Heartbreaking Civil War Ballad of “Paddy’s Lament” (Part I) and Part II– Tonya McQuade at Emerging Civil War.
An architect for the centuries – how to share in events marking 300 years since the death of Christopher Wren– Louis Jebb at The Art Newspaper.
Northwick Church, South Gloucestershire – Barb Drummond at Curious Histories.
Writing and Literature
How much of Dickens’ London is fiction? – A.N. Wilson at The Spectator.
Night Bird Singing – Louis Groarke at Society of Classical Poets.
Exploring Grieg’s Exquisite Piano Concerto – Terez Rose at The Imaginative Conservative.
Change – Sonja Benskin Mesher.
Before the Throne of God Above – Joseph Bradshaw & Sandra McCracken
Photograph by Viktor Forgacs via Unsplash. Used with permission.