Grace, play, and delight: The 2021 Ministry of Writing Colloquium of ESR and Bethany Seminary

A Bethany Seminary release

Save the date for Earlham School of Religion’s annual Writing Colloquium, to be held this year online on Oct. 23-24. This year’s theme is “Grace, Play, and Delight.” The Writing Colloquium is co-sponsored by Bethany Theological Seminary and it supports the writing and work of the joint Master of Arts in Theopoetics and Writing that is offered by both institutions. The event is free, but donations are encouraged.

The colloquium opens Friday, Oct. 22, with “An Evening with Carrie Newcomer,” livestreamed at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). Dubbed a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe, Newcomer has 19 albums and three books of poetry to her credit. This fall, she will release “Until Now” (Available Light). She is a Quaker and well known in the Earlham community. She has performed on campus multiple times and is mother of a 2005 Earlham College graduate.

Image courtesy of ESR

Pádraig O’Tuma closes the colloquium at 6 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday, Oct. 23. Host of the podcast Poetry Unbound with On Being Media, O’Tuma is a theologian, a conflict-resolution mediator, and the author of four books of poetry. A leader of Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization, O’Tuma has advocated for LGBTQ inclusion and the value of the arts in public life.

An annual event since 1992, the ESR Writing Colloquium has featured such well-known writers as Scott Cairns, Madeline L’Engle, Yi-Young Lee, Scott Russell Sanders, Julia Kasdorf, and William Zinsser. In addition to the featured presenters, the colloquium will include a variety of workshops, with all sessions online.

Find out more about the event schedule at Registration is required and is offered on a pay-what-you-can basis. Recommended donations are $20 for a single session and $50 for the full event. Register at

— Jonathan Graham is director of communications for Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.


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