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by On Being Studios
On Being with Krista Tippett

Pádraig Ó Tuama and Marilyn Nelson – “So let us pick up the stones over which we stumble, friends, and build altars”


Where to turn to find my place of standing when it feels like the world is on fire? This question surfaced in a public conversation Krista had just a couple of years ago with Pádraig Ó Tuama and Marilyn Nelson, two poet-contemplatives. Pádraig weaves together social healing, poetry, and theology. Marilyn is a lyrical excavator of stories that would rather stay hidden — yet as she coaxes them into the light, they lead to new life. This conversation is a pleasure and balm, and a reminder that the ruptures and unease and reckonings of what we call “this moment” were all before us before the pandemic. Pádraig and Marilyn’s offerings are beyond wise, and distinctly tender and powerful for this now.

Pádraig Ó Tuama is the host of On Being’s Poetry Unbound podcast. Previously, he was community leader of Corrymeela, Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization. His books include a prayer book, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community, a book of poetry, Sorry For Your Troubles, and a poetic memoir, In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World.

Marilyn Nelson is professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut, and Chancellor Emeritus of the Academy of American Poets. She is a recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal “for distinguished lifetime achievement,” and the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Prize. She is a writer for all ages: her books of poetry for adults include The Meeting House and Faster Than Light; for children, Papa’s Free Day Party, and for young adults, A Wreath For Emmett Till and the forthcoming Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor's Life.

Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

This show originally aired in September 2018.


Episode 1001

by On Being Studios