Paulus Behrenson was another remarkable participant in last April’s Writer’s Retreat at the Fetzer Institute. He has created within so many art forms, he may have lost track of some of them. He’s not counting, anyway. But he’s an ecologist, potter, poet, dancer, and philosopher. He was interviewed on ABC in 2003. I highly recommend you read the transcript linked to the previous sentence. A powerfully original voice. And then rewatch the video to see a grounded man dance with words.

Shirley Showalter


  1. doradueck on November 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I’m inspired by the sentence, “the artist is to sing up the earth.” I’ve often thought that singers/songwriters are the most “powerful” artists of all, but in whatever medium we work, we can “sing up the earth.” Thanks for this clip and the others you’ve posted!

  2. shirleyhs on November 27, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Glad you are enjoying these, Dora. These writers, dancers, artists left a deep impression on me after only a few days of being together. The conversations stretched across the boundaries of time and space. President Lawrence Burkholder of Goshen College once said that the reason to get a liberal education was to have something to think about the rest of your life. I think these conversations will qualify!

  3. Gayla Marty on November 27, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Hi, Shirley – Thank you so much for this blog, and this Thanksgiving-tide I also want to thank you for reviewing my book “Memory of Trees” for Christian Century in August. It was such a generous and perceptive review. What a gift to have such a reader! Blessings.

  4. shirleyhs on November 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Gayla! How wonderful that you showed up here. I’m so glad you liked the review. One always wonders about those things. . . . If you’ve read the “about” section of this blog, you know that you and I have a lot in common. So I felt that I could understand you, even though your place was the Midwest and mine was the East.

    I’d welcome you as a regular reader and commenter here. I know you, too, would be a generous and perceptive reviewer–just the kind I am trying to deserve!

  5. jolanda on March 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Hi Shirley, thanks for posting the interview with Paulus Berensohn! He’s been inspiring me for ages through his book. Does he still teach? I would really like to meet him and learn from him in person. Thanks! Jolanda

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