Thursday, October 11, 2007

Daniel Berrigan and Prayer for the Morning Headlines

New Berrigan book to be celebrated at Coopers Union
• Monday, October 8, 2007
Father Berrigan was one of the primary inspirations and reasons I decided to be a war resister, and has been a significant influence in my life. Further, his residence - and living "underground" - on Block Island where I lived and had a business from 1987 to 2004, served to provide me a deeper appreciation of his life and work. I've met and talked with him when he has come to Block Island, and as Kurt Vonnegut has said, "he is Jesus as a poet", a most gentle and powerful presence, a guiding light and fearless fighter for justice. - MS
A celebration heralding the publication of “Prayer for the Morning Headlines: On the Sanctity of Life and Death,” a new collection of poetry by priest, anti-war activist, and Nobel Peace Prize-nominee Daniel Berrigan, with photographs by Adrianna Amari, is scheduled for Monday, October 15, at 6:30 p.m. in The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue, Manhattan, N.Y. The event is free and open to the public. Berrigan and his late brother, Philip, both Catholic priests, were part of the “Catonsville 9,” a group that protested the Vietnam War by breaking into military recruitment offices and destroying draft documents. Their civil disobedience led to jail time; the FBI arrested Daniel Berrigan at a home off Spring Street on Block Island. The new book, with an introduction by historian Howard Zinn and endorsements from the late Kurt Vonnegut, Ramsey Clark, Martin Sheen, James Carroll and others, was published by Loyola College in Baltimore.The October 15 event will be hosted by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, and will feature Berrigan, with a special guest appearance by Ramsey Clark — U. S. Attorney General under President Lyndon Johnson — and performances by the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, young people from The Builders of the New World Program of The Actors Theatre Workshop, and Thurman E. Scott, the program’s teacher and founder.

Copies of the book will be on sale, courtesy of Bluestockings, photographs from the book will be on exhibit, and representatives from peace and social justice organizations will display information.As Zinn states in his introduction, “… it was in Baltimore that Adrianna Amari took her extraordinary photographs of sculptures scattered through the city. It is all there, as in Berrigan’s poems — life and death, the prayer that comes with commitment, the hope that comes with resistance, the visions of a world where peace and justice prevail.”

Before he died a few months ago, Vonnegut wrote, “For me, Father Berrigan is Jesus as a poet. If this be heresy, make the most of it.” “Dan Berrigan is a national treasure, and he has added another powerful, poignant book to his towering life’s work. ‘Prayer for the Morning Headlines’ is full with the horror and hope that confront us now,” says Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

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