Archives for category: Patrick T. Reardon

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Patrick T. Reardon discusses his poetry collection, Requiem for David (Silver Birch Press, February 2017) and other writing in a Chicago Sun-Times feature published on July 20, 2017. Find the insightful article here.

Listen to a related podcast at this link.

Photo by Rich Hein, Chicago Sun-Times

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Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce its nomination of Requiem for David, a 110-page book of poems by Patrick T. Reardon, for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. The collection — released on February 1, 2017— has garnered high praise from some of the most esteemed authors in the United States.

“Survivors know only too well how grief is equal parts sorrow, rage, and guilt. Requiem for David is the heart’s howl, a passage through mourning, a lesson ultimately in learning how to walk alongside pain with grace. We cannot avoid the dark night of the soul, but if we don’t walk through it, we can never reach the light.” — Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“Detail by razor-sharp detail, perception by vivid perception, recollection by haunting recollection, Patrick T. Reardon’s Requiem for David gathers into the force of a cri de coeur.” — Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago

“In Requiem for David, Patrick T. Reardon grapples with the suicide of his brother David and with the painful childhood they shared as the two oldest of fourteen children of emotionally distant parents. Their closeness is clearly articulated in his poem “Your Death.” “Your death/tore me/open like/the baby/was coming/out.” This collection also chronicles the tight bond of affection that the fourteen siblings shared. Reardon also confronts the meaning and limitations of his Catholic faith. I share his doubts and confirmations from my limited association with Catholicism. Requiem for David, supplies insights into the intersections between the religious and the secular. His poetry reminds me of the great poet and Catholic priest, Daniel Berrigan. I highly recommend this volume to all who seek uncommon answers to difficult questions.” — Haki R. Madhubuti, Ph.D., author of Liberation Narratives: New and Collected Poems 1966-2009 and YellowBlack: The First Twenty-One Years of a Poet’s Life, A Memoir

“Patrick T. Reardon’s Requiem for David is a tribute to a younger brother who died by his own hand, a balm to heal the hurt of loss and a return, however difficult, to beauty.” — Achy Obejas, author of Memory Mambo

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon is a Chicagoan, born and bred. He is the author of seven books, including Faith Stripped to Its Essence: A Discordant Pilgrimage through Shusaku Endo’s ‘Silence.  Reardon worked for 32 years as a reporter with the Chicago Tribune, specializing in urban affairs, and is now writing a book about the untold story of the impact of the elevated railroad Loop on the stability and development of Chicago. His essays have appeared frequently in American and European publications, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Catholic Reporter, Illinois Heritage, Reality, and U.S. Catholic. He was on a team of Chicago Tribune reporters who won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for “Gateway to Gridlock,” a series of stories about the nation’s overcrowded skies. His book reviews have twice won the Peter Lisagor Award for arts criticism. He has lectured on Chicago history at the Chicago History Museum.

Find Requiem for David by Patrick T. Reardon at Amazon.com.

Patrick T. Reardon (left) and his brother David in 2002
Finding pain
by Patrick T. Reardon

You ask me if,
in writing about my
suicide-brother, I
find peace.

You ask me if
I find a clearing in
the forest where,
amid bird-song, the
sunlight shafts across
my face.

I have found a
jungle on a steep
hill rising to a
mountain and a
mountain top, a
rainstorm and then
blizzard, a whirlwind,
and, at the peak, stingy
air and greedy cold and a
panorama of the Earth spread
for me as
if I were an asthmatic,
hypothermic god, as
if I were again the baby fighting
my way blindly from the dark, as
if I were the
giver of birth, as
if I were the cribbed
infant with no words and a
dread
dream, as
if I were, like all of us, Job
raging out at the Almighty in
the knowledge of death and
the schooling of pain, and
stretching
out to grab
the sorrow-
encrusted
joy
of breathing,
for as
long as
breath
comes.

PHOTO: Patrick T. Reardon (left) with his brother David. From the book Requiem for David (Silver Birch press, 2017).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Well, since the February publication of my book of poems centered on the suicide of my brother David, many people wonder if I’ve found peace through the process of writing and publishing the work.  The answer is very complicated, and that’s what I tried to address in this poem.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon is the author of Requiem for David, a collection of poems (Silver Birch Press, 2017).  His Pump Don’t Work blog is at patricktreardon.com.

Chicago-area residents, join Patrick T. Reardon and author Barbara Mahany as they discuss Patrick’s new poetry collection Requiem for David and the questions it raises about grief, family, religious faith, and the choices that each of us makes at every step along the path of our lives. The event will take place on Friday, 3/24/17, 6:30 p.m., at City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie Blvd., Chicago, IL 60647.

 In Requiem for David, Patrick wrestles with the suicide of his brother David, and the pain they shared as children and adults, and the tight bond of affection that the brothers shared with each other and with their other 12 brothers and sisters. Sandra Cisneros calls Requiem for David “the heart’s howl,” and Haki Madhubuti compares the collection to the work of poet-priest Daniel Berrigan.

“Detail by razor-sharp detail, perception by vivid perception, recollection by haunting recollection, Patrick T. Reardon’s  Requiem for David gathers into the force of a cri de coeur.”
–Stuart Dybek

Patrick T. Reardon’s eight books include Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious commentary on Shusaku Endo’s famed novel Silence. Reardon worked for 32 years as a reporter with the Chicago Tribune, specializing in urban affairs, and is now writing a book about the impact of the elevated railroad Loop on Chicago.  His essays and poems have appeared frequently in American and European publications. His book reviews have twice won the Peter Lisagor Award for arts criticism.  He has lectured on Chicago history at the Chicago History Museum.

 Barbara Mahany is an author and freelance journalist in Chicago, who writes these days about stumbling on the sacred amid the cacophony of the modern-day domestic melee. She was a reporter and feature writer at the Chicago Tribune for nearly 30 years. Mahany’s first book, Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door, has been called “a field guide into the depths of your holiest hours.” Publishers Weekly picked it as one of the Top 10 religion books for 2014, fall crop. In her forthcoming book, Motherprayer: Lessons in Loving, due out in April, Mahany turns her attention to the sacred mysteries of mothering.

WHAT: Launch for Requiem for David by Patrick T. Reardon

WHEN: Friday, March 24, 2017 – 6:30pm

WHERE: City Lit Books

2523 N. Kedzie Blvd., Chicago, IL 60647

reardon-front-cover

On February 1, 2017, Silver Birch Press released Requiem for David, a 110-page book of poems by Patrick T. Reardon. The collection — which includes a range of photographs that complement the writing — has garnered high praise from some of the most esteemed authors in the United States.

“Survivors know only too well how grief is equal parts sorrow, rage, and guilt. Requiem for David is the heart’s howl, a passage through mourning, a lesson ultimately in learning how to walk alongside pain with grace. We cannot avoid the dark night of the soul, but if we don’t walk through it, we can never reach the light.” — Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“Detail by razor-sharp detail, perception by vivid perception, recollection by haunting recollection, Patrick T. Reardon’s Requiem for David gathers into the force of a cri de coeur.” — Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago

“In Requiem for David, Patrick T. Reardon grapples with the suicide of his brother David and with the painful childhood they shared as the two oldest of fourteen children of emotionally distant parents. Their closeness is clearly articulated in his poem “Your Death.” “Your death/tore me/open like/the baby/was coming/out.” This collection also chronicles the tight bond of affection that the fourteen siblings shared. Reardon also confronts the meaning and limitations of his Catholic faith. I share his doubts and confirmations from my limited association with Catholicism. Requiem for David, supplies insights into the intersections between the religious and the secular. His poetry reminds me of the great poet and Catholic priest, Daniel Berrigan. I highly recommend this volume to all who seek uncommon answers to difficult questions.” — Haki R. Madhubuti, Ph.D., author of Liberation Narratives: New and Collected Poems 1966-2009 and YellowBlack: The First Twenty-One Years of a Poet’s Life, A Memoir

“Patrick T. Reardon’s Requiem for David is a tribute to a younger brother who died by his own hand, a balm to heal the hurt of loss and a return, however difficult, to beauty.” — Achy Obejas, author of Memory Mambo

reardon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon is a Chicagoan, born and bred. He is the author of seven books, including Faith Stripped to Its Essence: A Discordant Pilgrimage through Shusaku Endo’s ‘Silence.  Reardon worked for 32 years as a reporter with the Chicago Tribune, specializing in urban affairs, and is now writing a book about the untold story of the impact of the elevated railroad Loop on the stability and development of Chicago. His essays have appeared frequently in American and European publications, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Catholic Reporter, Illinois Heritage, Reality, and U.S. Catholic. His book reviews have twice won the Peter Lisagor Award for arts criticism. He has lectured on Chicago history at the Chicago History Museum.

Find Requiem for David by Patrick T. Reardon at Amazon.com.

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Martin Scorsese‘s celebrated new film Silence, based on Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel is an intense journey about the nature of faith — and what people will do when their beliefs are threatened. The film and book take place in 17th century Japan, where converts to Roman Catholicism are persecuted by those in power — and face life-or-death decisions about whether to keep or abandon their faith.

In Faith Stripped to Its Essence (ACTA Publications, September 2016), Patrick T. Reardon has written a guide that, in his introduction, he calls a “pilgrimage through the discordant voices of faith in Endō’s novel.” Reardon’s 111-page book features brief, reader-friendly chapters that break down the subject matter of Endō’s complex novel into thought-provoking, accessible material.  Questions for individual reflection or group discussion appear at the end of each chapter.

Reardon’s book is an essential addition to the canon of writing — both fiction and nonfiction —  that endeavors to bridge differences among religious groups and focus on the significant questions that all believers need to address. “What are we required to do because of our faith?” Reardon writes. “What does it mean to believe?”

If you plan to see Scorsese’s film — or if you’ve already seen it — Faith Stripped to Its Essence will enhance and deepen your viewing experience of Silence, and provide material for reflection for years to come.

Find Faith Stripped to Its Essence by Patrick T. Reardon at Amazon.com. This beautiful volume also makes an impressive gift — for the modest price of $12.95.