Ways We Are Lost is about exploring the lost-forest. Take that as you will. The majority of posts consists of letters between myself and my former Sociology professor, Michael A. Katovich. Our dialogue has been ongoing for the past few years; however, our letters began making appearance on this blog only recently (January of 2012) after I discovered that my exploring the lost forest may benefit greatly from his perspective and our mutual finding-out / sorting-out of all things measurable and not—sociological, clinical, spiritual and otherwise.

Mike came to me asking advice on spiritual exploration. Since this blog, created in 2010, was very much about my own quest, I am finding it (and hope you will find as well) beneficial to share and take part in a larger conversation.

Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick graduated with her Masters in Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in New York 2010. She recently completed her first full-length manuscript of essays and poetry and has a chapbook in print. She lives, writes and shoots photography in the deserts of West Texas.

Any and all photos in this blog (including the front page banner) were shot by Shannon.

“SHANNON ELIZABETH HARDWICK is an emerging, significant poet/photographer of the sensual, the ethereally errant, whether snapping portraits that reveal her subjects’ interior (dislocated) longings; or taking self-portraits of a vulnerable, insomnia-riddled persona not quite on the lush turf of Eros; or capturing disused towns in her native Texas. Her stark, philosophic poetry (Little Wordlings) balances illusive daydream-scapes with yearnings for misplacements-set-right. Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick, through combined arts, offers a brave and brilliant quantum leap of vision, doubt, and faith. Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick is a necessary poet/photographer!” Red Shuttleworth, poet (Western Settings)

Shannon Hardwick has created a language that speaks to poets, philosophers, sociologists, scientists, and people living and dying on the streets. Few people dare art in the way that Shannon does, mixing delicate turns of poetry with sturdy prose. Her willingness to let surrounding stimuli move into her nerve endings creates a vivid individual consciousness of things turning into objects and an intense social awareness of such objects hardening back into things. Although Shannon Hadrwick exhibits a seamless and natural technique with her poetry, one is taken by the heart of her poems rather than its beautiful form. Such a heart examines our own possibilities and limitations as readers confront a steely presence that in her own words, “ain’t afraid of the blues.” Amid the beauty and around the soft rhythms of her words, looms a steady, fearless, and unwavering focus on that which can lighten and darken our souls simultaneously. Michael A. Katovich, Professor of Sociology, Texas Christian University.


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