Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jon M. Sweeney, Interview #132

Name: Jon M. Sweeney

Where you live: Woodstock, Vermont

What you do as a vocation or avocation? I have worked in book publishing for 20 years. Since 2004, I’ve been the associate publisher at Paraclete Press. My avocation doesn’t wander far from my vocation (how I wish I could say that I do something more outrageously interesting!): I’m a writer of books, articles, blogs, and many other things. I write.

Your two favorite books: That’s impossible to answer, so I will answer as if you asked me what are my two favorite books this year. Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines, and Jack Gilbert’s new book of poems, The Dance Most of All.

Your two favorite songs: I’ve been singing old Carpenters favorites to my baby in utero. Either those, or The Smiths.

Why you are interested in spirituality? Because I can’t shake God. Spirituality is everything that gives life meaning.

Your favorite quote: Again, there can’t possibly be only one. But I’ll give you this one for 
sure: "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents." (H.P. Lovecraft)

Your favorite web sites: I spend a lot of time on The Huffington Post, where I blog on religion, Facebook, and The New Yorker, because I allowed by subscription to lapse.

Your hero? Paul Sabatier, the French Protestant who wrote the first modern biography of St. Francis of Assisi.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? How to love my neighbor as myself.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" Now, that’s the easiest question of all. Not the woods (although they are great on snowshoes in January). I’m a contemplative sort, but not in solitude. Put me in the middle of a crowd of people, preferably strangers.

Editor's Note: Jon blogs here: and

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