Prose poems, chants, litanies, simple songs, cadenced prayers, brief bursts of rhythmic observation, elegies to little moments that are not little at all in the least whatsoever-welcome to the melodic world of Brian Doyle's "proems," swirling with voices unreeling tales, souls telling stories, moments photographed with ink. Accessible, easy to read, blunt, brief, and sometimes unforgettable, "these are not poems," says the author, "but life set to the music of poetry."
In A Shimmer of Something, Brian Doyle's characteristic humor and sincerity combine to make this collection a delight to read. From his conviction that miracles breed ripples that do not cease, to his lack of faith about the life of an elderberry bush, to the amusing story of a friend's experience of driving the Dalai Lama to Seattle, to the humorous experience of his second confession, to an intimate story of love and loss, Doyle's lean stories of spiritual substance inspire, entertain, and captivate.
Brian Doyle (1957-2017) was the longtime editor of the University of Portland's award-winning Portland Magazine. His essays appeared in iHarper's, The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. Catholic, First Things, Christian Century, America, and The American Scholar. He was the author of two Liturgical Press books, A Shimmer of Something: Lean Stories of Spiritual Substance and The Kind of Brave You Wanted to Be: Prose Prayers and Cheerful Chants against the Dark as well as a contributor to Give Us This Day.