In the Beginning Was Love: Contemplative Words of Robert Lax

In the Beginning Was Love: Contemplative Words of Robert Lax
Edited and with an introduction by S. T. Georgiou

ISBN 9780872432765

First Place Winner of the 2017 Catholic Press Association Award in Poetry “Although awards were the last thing Robert Lax was seeking in life, this collection of contemplative poetry is an absolute winner. . . . the book itself is a treasure.”

Robert Lax, (1915-2000), was a poet, hermit, sage, and peacemaker. Thomas Merton said of Lax, “He had a natural, instinctive spirituality, an inborn direction to the living God.” Jack Kerouac called him “a Pilgrim in search of beautiful innocence.” A native of New York, Lax graduated from Columbia University in 1938 with a degree in English Literature. After much wandering he traveled to Greece where he made Patmos, Isle of the Revelation, his spiritual and creative workshop. There he quietly resided for over three decades, writing the “ascetic” and experimental verse that would rank him “Among America’s greatest poets, a true minimalist who can weave awesome poems from remarkably few words” (New York Times Book Review). In the Beginning Was Love is a unique introduction to Lax as contemplative. These spiritual selections, mostly gathered from his poems and journals, portray Lax as a mystic filled with a deep love for both Creator and creation.

“A luminous offering of poetry and prayer; every page is a meditation.” -- Jonathan Montaldo, editor of The Intimate Merton

“This compact collection radiates transcendent love.” -- Jane Dillenberger, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, author of The Religious Art of Andy Warhol

“. . . I know of no one more qualified to talk about the spirituality of Lax.” -- Paul J. Spaeth, Curator of the Lax Archives, St. Bonaventure University

"In reading this book, my intuition that a rare document had come into my hands was quickly confirmed . . ." -- Richard Whittaker, Parabola Magazine, Spring 2017, Vol 42, No1.

"Georgiou knew Lax as a friend, philosopher, and guide, a fact that lends this book poignancy, authority, and gravitas . . . This anthology allows us brief, illuminating glimpses into the mind and spiritual practice of this brilliant, holy man." -- Angela Alaimo O'Donnell, The Merton Seasonal, Spring 2016

"With Lax you get no pretension, no ego, no posturing. Everything is stripped bare. Lax lives as a simple hermit on the remote Greek isle of Patmos. His writing is also like food from the desert, dribbles of precious honey from rock." -- Sr. Mary Ellen Plumb, O.S.B., Monasteries of the Heart, Erie, Pennsylvania

S. T. Georgiou, Ph.D., editor of this volume, is the author of The Way of the Dreamcatcher: Spirit-Lessons with Robert Lax, (Templegate), Mystic Street, and The Isle of Monte Cristo. He teaches religion and spirituality in the San Francisco Bay Area. For a recent interview in which Georgiou extensively discusses Robert Lax, Google: Remembering Robert Lax: A Conversation With Steve Georgiou. This interview first appeared in Works & Conversations Magazine, June 2017.


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