A Pilgrimage of Churches arises from the landscape of the Great Plains, the people who live there, who work the land, and who worship together in community on the Sabbath Day. They hold a heritage of faith and devotion that is an American story. It is our story. The desire here is to tell it with a Quaker simplicity and sacramental sincerity as a part of an American family’s legacy and attentiveness. It is a story of remembrance too. In this effort, the work draws from a rich literary tradition that is uniquely American, one that emulates an elder artistic and liturgical language, which uncovers and animates the pastoral beauty on the earth and a people’s dedication to their belief. As a vision, the hope is to reveal its inhabitants and their history as persons of faith, celebrating an intimate connection with the land that flourishes still, helping to feed a 21st century world.
RON STARBUCK is the Publisher/CEO/Editor of Saint Julian Press, a poet/writer and photographer, an Episcopalian, and author of three books of poetry, There Is Something About Being An Episcopalian, When Angels Are Born, and Wheels Turning Inward, three rich collections of poetry, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions.
He has been a contributing writer for Parabola Magazine. And has had poems and essays published in Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature, an interview and poem in The Criterion: An Online International Journal in English, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, ONE from MillerWords (Feb. 2016), and Pirene's Fountain, Volume 7 Issue 15, from Glass Lyre Press (Oct. 2014), and Levure Littéraire (France – 2017 & 2018).
A PILGRIMAGE OF CHURCHES will take the Reader on a powerful and transformative journey far into the heart of old and devotional America: to where the inspired and believing once established their vision of a true Jerusalem and of their Christ upon the coastal plains of Texas and up northward onto the plains of Kansas. This book is a gentle masterpiece of perception and human record, bringing back to life a world that has vanished from our Twenty-First Century culture. Like an ancient, illuminated manuscript this book will deliver lightness and conviction into your hands and eyes. Starbuck is a master of poetic tradition and diction, and his delivery of these prophetic songs – which vividly and precisely depict a forsaken time – returns us to those sacred grounds. About the author himself we can most certainly say that, ‘his aim is true’.
—Kevin McGrath, Harvard University
In the Kacch: A Memoir of Love and Place
Strī: Women in Epic Mahābhārata (Ilex Series)
Jaya: Performance in Epic Mahabharata (Ilex Series)
We all know the people of the Midwest have raised corn and crops forever, but they also raised churches, churches of many denominations, Methodist, Catholic, AME, Baptist, Lutheran. On his midwestern and western pilgrimage, Ron Starbuck found both images and words that capture the holiness in both sacred and secular places in the middle of America.
In this collection, it almost feels as if Ron Starbuck has caught time sleeping as he delivers up images that seem pulled not just from the center of the country, but from the middle of the last century.
Time is stopped here and frozen, in the silvery light of these photographs, which alongside Ron Starbuck's poems that read like Biblical passages “pour out a radiance, A great reverence” for these far-flung and spiritual places.
Whether he is photographing tiny chapels and small-town clapboard churches or parking lots of John Deere tractors or plowed fields and pastures, these black and white images and liturgical-sounding poems evoke the same stark America as the WPA teams. Ron Starbuck is Walker Evans and James Agee rolled into one here, a new documentarian for a forgotten era of divine places.
The Family on Beartown Road: A Memoir of Love and Courage,
The Hypothetical Girl: Stories and The Scalpel and The Silver Bear: The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing