I've teamed up for a Pod!

Professor of Literature Jeanne Petrolle invited me to join her for the second season of her podcast, "The Bible and Modern Literature." These episodes are a testing ground for our new Podcast.

STAY TUNED for "WILD OLIVE: Game-changing conversation about literature, culture, & the Bible," coming summer of 2022.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

In this episode, Jeanne and Jennifer discuss fire imagery from the Bible and from an Alicia Ostriker poem, investigating how images of fire explore connections between God-experience and violence,  God-experience and history, God-experience and the desire for social justice.

This episode explores a central Bible motif and scene type that recurs throughout both testaments--the meeting at the well. After examining some scenes from the Bible that take place near wells, the conversation turns to Emily Dickinson’s poem “I Know Where Wells Grow.”

In this episode, Professors Jennifer Bird and Jeanne Petrolle explore how Anne Sexton’s Poem “Jesus Walking” portrays Jesus of Nazareth. While considering the poem,  the  professors also discuss  wilderness scenes from the Gospel of  Mark and the Gospel of Matthew, unpacking some of the metaphorical possibilities of the Newer Testament's "wilderness" motif.

Professors Jennifer Bird and Jeanne Petrolle discuss the Book of Daniel alongside the poem “martha promise receives leadbelly,” by Pulitzer-prize-winning African American writer Tyehimba Jess, who uses the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego  to reflect on the life of Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, American blues legend. In the course of considering Jess's poem, the conversation explores "colonizing" and "decolonizing" approaches to interpreting the Bible.


Music credits:

Just As Soon by Kevin MacLeod

License: CC BY 3.0

Bible scholars who describe one of the Bible's genres as "myth" are not trying to assert that some of the Bible's stories are scientifically or historically "untrue." Rather, they are pointing out that some parts of the Bible do not aim at scientific or historical truth so much as they aim to picture fundamental aspects of human experience, poetically. The image of Lot's wife (or woman) turning to salt, for instance, which American poet laureate Joy Harjo uses in her poem "Exile of Memory," can be read as a story-picture about human responses to historical trauma.