Superabundantly Alive

Thomas Merton's Dance with the Feminine

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J. S. Porter, Susan McCaslin
  • Kelowna, Canada: 
    Wood Lake Publishing
    , October
     240 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by R. Zachary Karanovich forthcoming.


Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine is a unique, unified, multi-genre work that includes dialogue, imaginary letters, poems, and reflective essays by two established Canadian poets. Taking cues from Merton himself, Susan and John establish a playful, jazzy, tone — superabundantly alive. This book invites participation for those who already know Merton’s work and for those who are meeting this whole and broken, prophetic, whimsical, paradoxical prophet and visionary for the first time.

Robert Lax once described Merton’s poetry and the man himself as “superabundantly alive.” McCaslin and Porter prove the truth of this description in their enchanting account of the writer-mystic who now comes into his second century of stature and significance, in the words of Boris Pasternak, “[a]live and burning to the end.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

J. S. Porter was born in Belfast in the north of Ireland and educated at McMaster University (MA in English literature) in Hamilton, Ontario. He has been reading, thinking about, speaking about, and writing about Thomas Merton for 40 years. He has made six contributions to The Merton Seasonal, two to The Merton Annual, and three to The Merton Journal along with articles on Merton in BrickThe Antigonish Review, and other journals. Presently culture critic for The Nancy Duffy Show, he is a columnist for Dialogue Magazine and a frequent contributor to the online journal Hamilton Arts and Letters.

Susan McCaslin is a Canadian poet and Thomas Merton scholar who has published 15 volumes of poetry, including several long sequences on Thomas Merton. Susan is the author a volume of essays titled Arousing the Spirit: Provocative Writings (Wood Lake Books, 2011). Her most recent volume of poetry is Into the Open: Poems New and Selected (Inanna Publications, 2017).


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