Last week, some 2,000 pilgrims converged at Calvin College for the every-other-year gathering known as the Festival of Faith & Writing. By Saturday night, when Walter Wangerin (who is fighting what looks like terminal cancer but whose passion for the wordand the Wordis undiminished) concluded his exhortation to writersTell the truth! Give voice to the voiceless!and then pronounced a heartfelt benediction, all of those travelers had enjoyed a three-day literary feast, with more courses than a medieval banquet.
You couldn't take it all in, of course, and plenty of regulars come as much for the talk with fellow readers and writers as for the official program. But many of the sessions were full to bursting, and the lineup of keynoters drew big crowds. On Thursday night, alas, I had to miss Alice McDermott (I was at Eyekonsthe gallery opened recently by Phil Schaafsma to create a space for Christian artto hear the artist Makoto Fujimura talk about some of ...1