I grew up in a large, lively missionary family in Colombia–a beautiful, complicated place. In recent years I’ve periodically had the privilege of providing accompaniment and advocacy to Colombian peace communities and human rights defenders. Naturally these experiences, and some of the many stories I’ve been told by Colombian friends, make their way into what I write.
My 2017 children’s picture book, Adriana’s Angels / Los ángeles de Adriana (published separately in English and Spanish; Sparkhouse Family), has a Colombian child protagonist whose family must flee danger. And then her new life in Chicago has its troubles too. Through it all, her brilliant guardian angels keep attentive watch and help her know she’s held firmly in God’s love.
There’s a new book! Taking a phrase from “Las caras lindas de mi gente negra,” a song celebrating Afro-Latinx beauty, as part of its title, Caras lindas de Colombia / Beautiful Faces of Colombia was released in June 2018. I was privileged to provide most of the text to accompany gorgeous, lush photos of Afro-Colombian people and communities by the distinguished photographer Michael Bracey. We self-published this book, which was beautifully designed by Cindy Grimes Kiple, and its presence in the world makes me deeply happy.
I’ve also published two collections of poetry, Soap Is Political (Glass Lyre; these poems are rooted in Colombia) and Yellow Doors (WordFarm); several scripture study guides, including Singleness (InterVarsity Press–now in its 11th printing!) and Heart Renewal (WaterBrook); and the booklet Date Rape (InterVarsity Press).
I work a day job too: I’m a senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, and several times a year I teach in the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies’ editing certificate program. And I’m a visual artist, working mostly in chalk pastels and mosaic. Currently I’m finishing both text and art for Picturing God, a book inviting children and parents to meditate on some of the biblical God-metaphors; it will be released by Beaming Books in September 2019.
In short, I love colors and textures, words/sentences/paragraphs in both English and Spanish, stories, justice, Colombia, children, the earth, God . . .
Other writings available online
List is being updated as time permits.
Folio (poems & photos) in Jason Brown’s “Home :: Keep,” 2018
“Edith” & “The hands that wanted,” poems in The Wild Word, 2017
“Out” & “After seeing Vermeer,” poems in Verse Wisconsin, Spring 2010
“Excavation,” poem in Raving Dove, 2009
“For example,” poem in Raving Dove, Spring 2008
“Ashore,” poem in Conte 2.6, 2006
Interview with Padre Javier Giraldo about human rights in Colombia, first published in PRISM magazine, 2003