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Selections from the October issue
October 2009 cover

The Decline And Fall Of The Suburban Empire:
James Howard Kunstler On Reshaping The American Landscape

“It’s imperative that we direct our remaining resources — material, psychological, and spiritual — at a comprehensive downscaling of American life.” 
Interview by Leslee Goodman

Confessions From A Conversion Van
Contemplating God in the parking lot
Essay by Jim Ralston

Soaked on the sidewalk, panicked in a storm, naked in a downpour
Personal stories by our readers

Plus: Poetry by Meg Kearney, Sy Safransky’s Notebook, and Sunbeams

Help sustain The Sun

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Your tax-deductible donation will help ensure that the magazine doesn’t become another casualty of the recession. Please support The Sun during this critical time.

Favorite from the archives
January 1999 cover

Jesus Incognito
Poetry by Alison Luterman (January 1999)

Don’t tell anyone, but I love Jesus.
I love his big dark Jewish eyes, so full of suffering and soul,
like an unemployed poet’s, and his thick sensuous Jewish lips,
and his kinky curly hair, just like mine, uncontrollable despite conditioners,
and the way he always argues with everyone


The Sun’s proofreader Brent Winter recommends this poem. He says: “Alison Luterman writes ‘Jesus Incognito’ as a Jew contemplating the central figure of another religion; I read it as someone who, with sadness, renounced that religion. Yet this poem’s vigor, humor, and compassion bring us together somewhere in the middle, in a place that feels a lot like love.”

What’s your favorite piece from The Sun? Tell us, and we may include your suggestion on our website and in our newsletter.

What bloggers are saying

An artist and mother of two in Clintondale, New York, reflects on Janine Benyus’s views about our relationship with nature [“The Sincerest Form of Flattery,” interview by David Kupfer, September 2009] as she considers the gains she’s made in reducing the waste her family produces.

Green-jobs advisor Van Jones’s resignation from the Obama administration stirs interest in David Kupfer’s interview with him [“Bridging the Green Divide,” March 2008].

A college professor in Ephraim, Utah, assigns The Sun’s Readers Write section as part of an introductory writing lesson.

Dave Miller, founding editor of the Traveler’s Notebook, lists The Sun as one of “11 Magazines, Journals, and Blogs Every Travel Writer Should Know About.”

A writer in Denver, Colorado, rejoices over receiving complimentary copies of the September issue, in which her Readers Write submission appears. 

Evenings with The Sun in California
The Mysterious Life of the Heart

Join editor and publisher Sy Safransky and Sun authors for two readings celebrating the publication of our new anthology, The Mysterious Life of the Heart: Writing from The Sun about Passion, Longing, and Love. The first reading is on Sunday, November 1, at the Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, in Mill Valley, California, and the second is on Tuesday, November 3, at the Beverly Hills Public Library, 444 North Rexford Drive, in Beverly Hills.

Both readings begin at 7:30 P.M. Admission is free; seating is limited. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale. For details see our website.

Are Sun readers meeting in your area?

Nearly 150 groups of Sun readers meet regularly to discuss the latest issue of the magazine, or write, or both. Groups have recently formed in:

Davis, California
Syracuse, New York
Sammamish, Washington

To view the complete list of Sun groups, or to start your own, click here.

Most-read on our website
  1. The Sincerest Form Of Flattery:
    Janine Benyus On The Virtues Of Imitating Nature

    Interview by David Kupfer
    (September 2009)
  2. Why Schools Don't Educate
    Essay by John Taylor Gatto
    (June 1990)
  3. Bridging The Green Divide:
    Van Jones On Jobs, Jails, And Environmental Justice

    Interview by David Kupfer
    (March 2008)
  4. The Middle Of Nowhere
    Readers Write
    (September 2009)
  5. The Social Life Of Water
    Poetry by Tony Hoagland
    (September 2009)
Weekend gathering in Big Sur, California
Morning at Esalen

Into The Fire:
The Sun Celebrates Personal Writing

Join Sun readers, authors, and staff — including editor and publisher Sy Safransky — for a weekend of investigating our lives through the written word. The Sun’s fall gathering will be held on October 30–November 1 at Esalen, a retreat center situated on twenty-seven acres of spectacular Big Sur coastline. We can accommodate only about twenty more people; register soon by contacting the Esalen Institute, 55000 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920, (831) 667-3005, www.esalen.org.

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Copyright ©2009, The Sun Publishing Company, Inc., 107 North Roberson Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.