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What Is Justice? A Personal Exploration – Bill Denham

July 25, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for a reading from What is Justice? by Bill Denham.

Matthew Avery Solomon and Noel Espinoza were murdered on September 4, 2008. Three men were charged with the crime. In What Is Justice?: A Personal Exploration, author Bill Denham studies the crime and what it reveals about himself and about our broader culture’s pursuit of retributive justice. Incorporating poetry, philosophy, theology, and memoir, Denham suggests an alternative system borne out of our inter-connectedness and reliant on the exercise of our imaginations. What Is Justice?: A Personal Exploration is an engaging, deeply personal, and deeply felt exploration into the meaning of justice. It is an essential and thought-provoking piece.

“In death will come, poet Bill Denham attempts the near impossible, coming to terms with the approaching end of life without nostalgia, sentimentality, self-aggrandizement, or any of the other traps into which we mortals fall. That he succeeds so completely is his astonishing gift to the world, and a testament to a life lived, suffered, and loved in open-hearted service and wonder. A must read for anyone who will someday pass from this world.”

– Gary Turchin, author, Falling Home and The Healthiest Man on Earth

“There is a murder; there is a pending “execution.” There are victims and there are perpetrators. Into the midst of these deep contradictions, Bill Denham plunges with his honest, searing, hope-filled poetry. He dares to imagine that we are all bound together in this human crisis as one. We are not “over-against”; we are rather “with” and “belonging to.” That solidarity evokes compassion that presses toward restorative justice and away from revenge. Denham sees that “It falls to me” to do justice. Indeed it “falls to me” and you and you and you. Those who enter Denham’s world of poetic imagination may be called to care in transformative ways. It is his hope. Indeed it is our hope!”

– Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Bill Denham, educated at Davidson College in North Carolina (BA in English 1963) and at the University of California (MA in English 1967), began writing poetry at the age of sixty after a forty-year hiatus from his youthful passion. He has written nearly 800 poems and has published three volumes of poetry, Looking for Matthew (2012), of gossamers and grace (2016) and death will come (2018) and a mixed prose/poetry essay: What is Justice? a personal exploration (2019). A long dramatic dialogue with his special needs son, Do you remember, Dad? appeared in the anthology, Daring to Repair (Wising Up Press, 2012). He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, June, a former high school classmate in Winston-Salem, NC.


July 25, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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