Skip to content
Nonfiction - Government

$12.00 Regular price
Unit price

Come Shining: Essays and Poems on Writing in a Dark Time

ISBN: 9780982783825
Binding: Paperback
Edited by: Jill Elliott & Alison Towle Moore
Pages: 136
Trim: 5 x 7.75 inches
Published: 09/01/2017

What is the duty of writers when the shared life of the nation turns toward darkness?

In the first days of the new presidency of January 2017, twelve writers met together in Portland, Oregon to share our sense of mute, useless outrage, and ask: What should we be doing, as the nation turns toward lying, racism, and hatred? During an unusually stormy Portland winter, we came to see that reading and writing were a virtual commons, a public space where citizenship was reclaimed.

We sought and collected work from writers across the country, essays and poems that asked: What is this darkness? And - maybe more important - What is the quality of light? We gathered them together in this book which we mean to mark our moment and to bear witness: this is how it was to watch darkness coming and cry out in opposition. This is how it feels to be human in a dark time.

In dark times, the first rule is to find each other. This book is the meeting-space where we worked on democracy. We learned that if we seek the truth, it will show us more than we bargained for. From the Czech playwright/president Vaclav Havel we learned to see that hope was a state of mind, a commitment...and that every true word we wrote was an act of resistance. For all truth-telling is an affront to would-be dictators.

We learned to write in hope. For in these essays and poems we saw that dark and unpropitious times also contain miracles of beauty, kindness, selflessness, and joy.


Jill Elliott lives, writes, and gardens in a small town on the Oregon Coast with her husband. She's been published in The Sun, The Ink-Filled Page, and Places Like Home.

Alison Towle Moore grew up a military brat but finally has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. She writes essays and poetry, makes pottery and tries to be conscious and helpful. On Instagram/alison.towle.