Swanson, Mark E.

Mark E. Swanson is the pastor of Wiley Heights Covenant Church in Yakima, Washington.

Prairie Eyes: In Gratitude to Bill Holm (Summer 2009)

Bill Holm passed away on February 25th. He was a poet, essayist, and musician, who filled a six foot, eight-inch Icelandic-American frame. His home, when he was not in Iceland, was Minneota, Minnesota, a small town in the southwest corner of the state. And he taught me how to love the plains.

BOOK REVIEW: Wendell Berry & Religion (Spring/Summer 2010)

Wendell Berry is a Kentucky farmer and a writer of poetry, fiction, and essay whose name seems to be showing up everywhere. He is claimed as a voice in politics, ecology, agriculture, economics, and religion. And what is probably most striking is that he is claimed by those who fall across a wide spectrum in each of those arenas. Berry speaks as an agrarian and that informs his approach to the subjects at hand.

The hawthorn tree (Spring/Summer 2020)

I’ve been reading a book about a favorite painter of mine, Harlan Hubbard, an impressionist from Kentucky, who lived on a shanty boat. One of his paintings is titled “The Hawthorn Tree.” In the image, a lone hawthorn tree blooms among all the darker and taller trees in the woods. The river has recently flooded and the water is going down, leaving smooth mud. As the water drops, spring begins, and that is when this tree blooms.