Dancing to the Heartbeat of Redemption


In this vibrant, fresh approach to spiritual nurture, Mars Hill Review and Inklings poetry editor Joy Roulier Sawyer intersperses her own poetry, as well as the work of other contemporary and classic poets, in a contemplative-yet-earthy approach to living and loving poetically.

Featuring poetry by Denise Levertov, Andrew Hudgins, Vassar Miller, Kathleen Norris, Scott Cairns, Anne Porter, Margaret Avison, Jeanne Murray-Walker, Luci Shaw and many others. Available on this website.


"Joy Sawyer's Dancing to the Heartbeat of Redemption is a rich and enriching book, a gift of both poetry and faith." --Dan Wakefield, author of New York in the Fifties


From Publisher's Weekly:

"Sawyer, a poetry editor for Inklings and the Mars Hill Review, illustrates that spiritual growth is a creative process. Throughout this nine-chapter book, Sawyer introduces readers to imaginative correlations between spiritual exercises and the varying "dances" of poetry in life: she imagines the church, for example, as an ongoing workshop community.

Sawyer's chapter topics range from discovering a communion between faith and poetry, developing an individual poetic voice through prayer, learning to find hope amidst despair, finding blessing in brokenness and living joyously despite life's trials. Sawyer's unique poetic metaphors offer readers nourishing spiritual food for the dance ahead."

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Selected Works

Poetry Book
"Blends the verbal alacrity and formal complexity of Gerard Manley Hopkins with the ironic verve and cultural awareness of Allen Ginsberg." --Paul J. Willis, former Santa Barbara Poet Laureate
Poetry Therapy Textbook
Revised and updated the third edition of the classic academic textbook by Arleen McCarty Hynes and Mary Hynes-Berry (North Star Press, 2012).
Nonfiction Books
"A rich and enriching book, a gift of both poetry and faith" --Dan Wakefield, author of New York in the Fifties

Poetry Links