John in the Company of Poets

John in the Company of Poets

The Gospel in Literary Imagination

By Thomas Gardner

Baylor University Press, Hardcover, 9781602583153, 222pp.

Publication Date: July 15, 2011


Thomas Gardner artistically describes Jesus "the Word made flesh" as a poem penned by God for the world, and John author of the Fourth Gospel as the poem's interpreter. John's structural patterns, repetitions, and narrative interventions invite readers to experience for themselves the beauty of the divine poem. "John in the Company of Poets" deepens this invitation by re-imagining the biblical text through the eyes of such artists as Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wendell Berry, and T. S. Eliot, offering a literary reading of the Gospel based upon their powerful poetic replies. Poets are our best readers, contends Gardner, and his deft analysis forges a fresh path into the issues and tensions of John's Gospel.

About the Author
Thomas Gardner was born in Indiana, raised in New Jersey and Western Maryland, and now lives and teaches in Blacksburg, Virginia, on the edge of the Jefferson National Forest. He attended Bucknell University, where he ran cross country and track, then earned graduate degrees from Syracuse and Wisconsin. His most recent books are A Door Ajar: Contemporary Writers and Emily Dickinson (Oxford, 2006) and John in the Company of Poets: The Gospel in Literary Imagination (Baylor, 2011). His play "Eurydice" was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006. He has been a professor of English at Virginia Tech since 1982, and he still regularly competes as a runner.