ESR Welcomes Poet Scott Cairns for 2011 Ministry of Writing Colloquium

Earlham School of Religion will be hosting the 20th Annual Ministry of Writing Colloquium November 4th and 5th on their Richmond campus.  Poet and author Scott Cairns will present the keynote topic: The Poem in Progress: a Way of Knowing, which will describe the poetic text as not being a means of expressing what is already known, but as a way of knowing, of seeing, of glimpsing what is not yet known. His workshop session, The Poem: A Dialogic Endeavor, will continue that conversation.

Keynote Scott Cairns

Cairns, Professor of English at University of Missouri, has been published in Poetry, Image, Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Republic, and his work has been anthologized in multiple editions of Best American Spiritual Writing. His published works include Compass of Affection, Short Trip to the Edge, Love’s Immensity, and The End of Suffering.

In addition to the keynote address, the Colloquium will offer workshops from published authors on topics including Putting Sacred Spaces in a Poem, What Did You Mean to Say?, Momentary Revelation, and Soul Work: Creativity and Spirituality. Amy Lyles Wilson will be offering book proposal reviews for those who submit their proposal to her in advance.

The cost for the Colloquium is $65 per person (if registered prior to October 10th - $70 after that date), and includes breakfast, lunch and refreshments on the 5th. Undergrad and graduate college students can attend for a reduced cost of $25. Participants are encouraged to attend a special evening reading with the workshop presenters on Friday, October 4th beginning at 7:00 pm, and an open mic night after the colloquium on the 5th beginning at 4:30, where participants can share readings from their own writing.

The Colloquium will be held in the ESR Center on the Earlham School of Religion campus, located at the corner of U.S. 40 West (Old National Road) and College Avenue in Richmond.

This event was created in honor of former ESR Dean Tom Mullen, who passed away on June 19, 2009. The Ministry of Writing Colloquium is one way ESR demonstrates its commitment to the written word as an important form of ministry.

For more information and a printable registration form, visit, call (800) 432-1377, or e-mail