Roundup: Steve Martin on banjo, poetry comic about the Resurrection, and more

BANJO DUET: “Foggy Morning Breaking” by Alison Brown and Steve Martin: Did you know the actor Steve Martin also has a music career? He’s been playing the banjo since he was a teenager, and he writes, records, and tours, both solo and as part of bluegrass bands. He’s even won three Grammys for his banjo music!

Fellow banjoist Alison Brown invited him to contribute to one of the tunes on her forthcoming album, On Banjo, which releases May 5. It’s called “Foggy Morning Breaking.” She wrote and plays the A section; he wrote and plays the B. The piece was released last month as a single, along with this music video.


VIDEO: “Spring” by Jamie Scott: This time-lapse short film of flowers blooming is extraordinary! It’s by visual effects artist and time-lapse photographer Jamie Scott (IG @invisiblejam). The score is by Jim Perkins. [HT: Tamara Hill Murphy]



>> April 22: “The Ekstasis Café: An Evening of Poetry, Music, Testimony, and Gallery,” Goldberry Books, Concord, North Carolina: Ekstasis is a beautiful quarterly magazine “exhibit[ing] arts and letters that reflect the depths of Christian life.” Next Saturday they are hosting their first-ever public gathering! Their hope with it is to foster meaningful connections, conversation, deep aesthetic encounters, and inspiration.

>> April 28: Artists’ Talk and Reception for The Resurrection and the Life by Fish Coin Press Exhibition, Sojourn Arts Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky: Fish Coin Press (IG is a Richmond, Virginia–based publisher of illustrated books, comics, and trading cards rooted in the story of scripture. They work with a range of artists and are doing really imaginative work.

Procopio, Stephen_Ascension
Stephen Procopio, Ascension, 2020. A full-color version of an illustration for Come See a Man (an illustrated Gospel of John) by Fish Coin Press.

From April 9 to May 28, the gallery at Sojourn Church Midtown in Louisville is exhibiting a selection of art from Fish Coin projects (open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or by appointment); here are a few exhibition views. And two Friday evenings from today, Fish Coin Press creative director Jared Boggess and development lead Stephen Procopio, who are illustrators themselves, will be visiting the gallery to discuss “visual theology” and its role in the local church. There will be a Q&A and a sneak preview of upcoming publications.


POEM: “Psalm” by Dorianne Laux: This poem sings the glories of “the hidden and small,” of the plants and creatures beneath our feet. Read more of Laux’s poems at


LECTURE: “Resurrection and the Renewal of Creation” by N. T. Wright: In this 2018 lecture sponsored by Lanier Theological Library and Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, ancient historian and New Testament scholar N. T. Wright discusses the meaning of Jesus’s resurrection, a topic he explores thoroughly in the influential academic tome The Resurrection of the Son of God and its more accessible corollary, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. “Easter is the start of something; it isn’t the ending,” he says. With the resurrection of Christ, the new creation has been launched and put to work in the world. It’s not about securing our souls a place in some nonspatiotemporal heaven when we die but about heaven colonizing earth here and now. We humans, he says, are meant to stand at the place where heaven and earth interlock. We who have received life are to be ourselves life-bringers, to participate in God’s massive renewal project. We are resurrection people!

Wright addresses common Christian misconceptions about death, judgment, and the fate of this world, seeking to root out the corrupting influence of Platonism and other pagan Greek philosophies on Christian eschatology. (For example, the new creation won’t be a creatio ex nihilo, creation out of nothing; it will be a creatio ex vetere, a creation out of the old. The implications of that are huge.) He also affirms the absolute importance of belief in Jesus’s bodily resurrection—his rising is no mere metaphor!—and calls on Christians to recover a centralizing hope in the general resurrection (what he calls “life after life after death”; fully embodied life in the new heavens and the new earth that comes after the not-yet-fully-realized life experienced in the interim between one’s death and the future cosmic coming of Christ) rather than regarding what happens immediately after one’s death as the ultimate beatitude.

Wright always makes me excited about what God’s doing and excited to be a disciple of Jesus. What more could a preacher ask for?

The final half hour of the video is Q&A.


DIGITAL COMIC: 30 Days of Comics (2022) by Madeleine Jubilee Saito: Madeleine Jubilee Saito [previously] is a Seattle-based cartoonist who is interested, as she says on her website, in “friendship, formal experimentation, medieval sacred comics, the built environment, solidarity, climate justice, the psalms, the material world, and the sacred.” Last year she was one of five artists in the inaugural cohort of On Being Project’s Artist Residency; during that time she created “For living, in climate crisis.” Her work is poetic, spiritual, and earthy, and I love it.  

Saito, Madeleine Jubilee_Made New
Comic by Madeleine Jubilee Saito, 2022, the ninth of thirty from “30 Days of Comics.”

In November 2022 Saito made a one-page, four-panel comic (almost) every day for the duration of the month. The series is resurrection-themed and, she told me, inspired by one of my blog posts: the one about Fra Angelico’s Noli me tangere at San Marco, a painting in which Christ the Gardener sows his stigmata across the lawn, as art historian Georges Didi-Huberman so beautifully interprets in his monograph on the artist. Click on the image and scroll down (then, at the bottom, click “←older”) to view all twenty-seven comics from the series. Each can stand alone, but they also have a cumulative effect. It’s stunning! You can follow Saito on Instagram @madeleine_jubilee_saito.

One thought on “Roundup: Steve Martin on banjo, poetry comic about the Resurrection, and more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s