In Second Sky, Runyan intertwines the life and writings of the Apostle Paul with the spiritual journey of a modern suburban woman confronting the broken world. Second Sky wrestles with the deeply personal challenges presented in Paul's letters and experiences: putting on the new self, burying oneself with Christ, and counting all as loss while driving through snowstorms, reading horrific headlines, and bathing the family dog. These are not simple poems of religious inspiration; they are steely encounters with the living God. Runyan invites us to work out our salvation in rusted Cadillacs, operating rooms, and packs of wild coyotes. Meanwhile, Paul runs from the collapsing walls of his prison cell toward shipwrecks and vipers, meeting us on our own roads to Damascus, the earth breaking open to a second sky of faith.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"While these poems are anchored by Paul's familiar words, his directives and admonishments, Tania Runyan's plucky responses challenge traditional pictures of the believer's life. God's grace appears in many guises in her poems--from a frisbee laid bare in the melting snow to a drive on icy roads with a carload of children. These are spirited and intimate pictures of a suburban woman's encounter with holy mystery, often both unpredictable and oddly comforting." --Jill Palaez Baumgaertner, Professor of English, Wheaton College
"This is a remarkable book. The poems are brief posts about the fissures--cataclysms--emergencies in the daily life of a parent, a spouse, a friend. It was only after devouring the book that I went back to check on how each poem glosses a passage of Scripture. There are layers and layers here to uncover. I will discover them slowly, but meanwhile, I love the fierce brio of these poems. I love their intelligence and urgency." --Jeanne Murray Walker, Professor of English, University of Delaware
Tania Runyan is the author of the poetry collections Second Sky, A Thousand Vessels, Simple Weight, and Delicious Air, which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her book How to Read a Poem, an instructional guide based on Billy Collins's "Introduction to Poetry," was released in 2014. Tania's poems have appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Christian Century, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, Willow Springs, Nimrod, and the anthology In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. Tania was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011 and writes for Image Journal's blog, "Good Letters." When not writing, Tania tutors high school students, plays fiddle and mandolin, and gets lost in her Midwestern garden.