I’ve logged more experience than most with simplicity and the complexity you discover inside simplicity, minimalism and asocial behavior, endurance and landscape.
Here is the truth: I think some deep wisdom inside me (a) sensed the stress, (b) was terrified for me, and (c) gave me something new and hard to focus on in order to prevent me from lapsing into a despair coma — and also to keep me from having a jelly jar of wine in my hand.
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Poe Ballantine has a crew cut and drinks his coffee black. “On several occasions,” he writes, “Sun readers have proposed to visit me, which, to my relief and their certain rescue from disappointment, rarely comes to fruition.” His most recent novel is Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire (Hawthorne Books). He lives in Chadron, Nebraska.
Dane Cervine’s poem in this issue won the National Writers Union competition in 2005, and his latest collection of poems is titled What a Father Dreams (Xlibris). He lives in Santa Cruz, California, where he has played basketball every Saturday for fourteen years with a group of aging dads.
Pema Chödrön is a fully ordained Buddhist nun and the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners. She is the author of several books, including No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva (Shambhala).
David Brendan Hopes is the author of A Childhood in the Milky Way (Akron University Press), which was nominated for both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. His latest volume of poetry, A Dream of Adonis, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
Stuart Kestenbaum is the author of two books of poems, Pilgrimage (Coyote Love Press) and House of Thanksgiving (Deerbrook Editions). He lives in Deer Isle, Maine.
Sy Safransky is editor of The Sun.
Bethany Saltman is working on a book titled JesusGirl5: Americans Convert to Christianity. She lives in Phoenicia, New York, and teaches literature and writing at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Mark Smith-Soto teaches Latin American literature and creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His latest book is Any Second Now (Main Street Rag Press). He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Mary Spalding is an English instructor and PhD student at Potomac State College of West Virginia University. She lives in Frostburg, Maryland.
Sparrow is a Libra. His hobbies include doing Sudoku puzzles, taking baths, and playing the ocarina. His latest book is America: A Prophecy (Soft Skull Press). He lives in Phoenicia, New York.
Tom Becker’s latest project is photographing county fairs. He lives in Orange City, Iowa.
Maureen Beitler is a photographer and nurse living in New York City. She received a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2003 for her photographs of Harlem.
William Carter is a photographer who also plays the clarinet and serves as chair of the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation. He lives with his wife in Los Altos Hills, California.
Mike Connealy put photography aside for thirty years to make a living and raise a family. Now retired, he is taking pictures again, mostly with old cameras. He lives with his wife in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
J’Aimee Cronin is a photographer who lives in New York City.
Reinhard Gorn is a commercial photographer, but he prefers to photograph strangers on city streets. He lives in Berlin, Germany.
Carlos Gustavo likes to spend time in the woods looking for arrowheads and stone tools. His photographs have appeared in Harper’s, the Oxford American, and Vogue. He lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Judith Keenan is a photographer who lives in Vallejo, California. She has been a carpenter since 1976 and supervises small construction projects at the San Francisco Zen Center. The man on this month’s cover was a friend of hers at the center who had become ill and asked her to take some photographs of him as keepsakes for his daughter. In this picture, he’s kneeling in seiza (a formal Japanese sitting posture). He was ordained as a zen priest shortly before he died.
Michael Limbert’s photographs in WAVE, a self-published book, are from a year of travel around the U.S. He lives in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Robert Llewellyn is a photographer who lives in Earlysville, Virginia.
Jan Stürmann grew up in South Africa. Before becoming a photographer, he made his living as a left-handed tree planter, a vegetarian ranch hand, and a numerically challenged carpenter. He lives in Oakland, California.
Debra Sugerman is a photographer who lives in Austin, Texas. Her first documentary film, about a group of Israeli and Palestinian teenage girls taking a road trip across America, was shown at the 2006 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Cole Thompson bought a Sears developing kit when he was fourteen and has been taking photographs ever since. He lives on a small ranch in Laporte, Colorado.
Mark Townsend is a photographer who lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Thomas Tulis is a photographer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jerry N. Uelsmann’s photographs have been exhibited in more than one hundred individual shows and are included in the permanent collections of museums worldwide. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, and his latest book of photographs is titled Other Realities (Bulfinch Press).
Editorial & Photo Assistant
Rachel J. Elliott