April 26, 2017  

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Kolin Publishes New Book of Poems - "Benedict's Daughter"

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University of Southern Mississippi Distinguished Professor of English (Emeritus) Dr. Philip Kolin has published his eighth collection of poems--Benedict's Daughter--with Wipf and Stock Publishing, known for books in theology, the arts, and history.

The 42 poems in Benedict's Daughter offer a spiritual biography of a remarkable woman of faith— "Midge,” a Benedictine Oblate, or layperson following the Rule of St. Benedict who lived a life of holiness not within a monastery but in the world. St. Benedict, the founder of western monasticism, authored the Holy Rule (530 A.D.) based on the principle of "ora et labora" (pray and work).

According to Abbot Cletus Meagher, O.S.B. of St. Bernard Abbey, Kolin's poems “beautifully echo the spirit of St. Benedict reflected in the spirituality and liturgical life of monasticism. . . that [Midge] follows as she cultivates the monk within."

Abbot Cletus added that "Kolin's poems bespeak an eye that sees beyond the superficial and penetrates to the very essence of all things--God himself."

Juxtaposed with Kolin’s poems on Midge's life are those on Benedictine traditions such as praying the Liturgy of the Hours (prayers said at different times of the day and night), taking vows of stability, hospitality, and silence, and engendering respect for the environment as well as poems on Benedictine saints and  abbeys.

Kolin's collection includes a variety of poetic forms, styles, and voices - even St. Benedict's.

High praise for Benedict's Daughter comes from Jill Baumgaertner, Dean of Theology at Wheaton College and Poetry Editor of Christian Century: “These are rich and beautiful poems that sing the sacred in ordinary lives. . . and that fill the pages with longing for God."

Dr. Mark Burrows, professor of religion at the University of Applied Sciences at Bochum, Germany and poetry editor of Spiritus, a journal of theology and culture, said that Kolin tells a "story of extraordinary devotion . . .  in poems of great feeling and deep conviction which usher us into that sacred precinct of spiritual friendship. . . Benedict's Daughter reads as a spiritual guide and as a lyric witness  . . .  poignant and harkening."

Kolin is the editor of the Southern Quarterly and has published more than 40 books on Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and contemporary African American woman playwrights. Benedict's Daughter is available through Amazon and www.wipfandstock.com