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Psalm & Selah :a poetic journey through The Book of Mormon

by Mark D. Bennion

(2009, Parables $6.99 paper; $3.99 ebook   ISBN 978-0-9614960-3-6  Paper  abt 120 pp)  

These largely first-person narrative poems imaginatively and sympathetically get inside the minds of the people who lived the scriptures: Abish, Sam, one of the sons of Helaman, Chemish, Gadianton, and many, many more.

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Advance Praise for Psalm & Selah

Psalm & Selah awakens the feel of grit and muscle, fragrance and desire that had previously escaped me when I read the Book of Mormon. People are moving through these poems, real people carving out their lives in the shape of God’s will as best they can discern it. For me, empathy comes easier when ideas and attitudes belong to individual people, and inspiration originates from someplace deeper. These poems bring the book alive in a way I hadn’t known before.”

—Andra Hansen, Professor of Communication, BYU–Idaho

Mark Bennion’s Psalm & Selah, as the title suggests, is a book of poems that enact a spiritual quest. In visionary lyrics and dramatic monologues Bennion reimagines the lives of characters from The Book of Mormon. To read these poems is to enter a liminal space in which one can “hear / a sandal lift from Jerusalem stone” or see a “slow plume / wafting / out of the burning / bush” or feel the sense of “vision / lifting us higher than the song of birds / as they dip and soar . . .” The poems in Psalm & Selah honor their subjects with imaginative intensity and uncommon richness of language.

—Greg Pape, Montana Poet Laureate, author of American Flamingo

In Mark Bennion’s Psalm & Selah minor characters from a major book of scripture speak in diverse, language-loving monologues that probe the challenges and blessings of faith. Obscure events become bright narratives; and silent songs, rich lyrics. These poems take the reader—along with the mysterious, worshipful company who left Jerusalem—to a vivid promised land. Psalm & Selah is fresh water from the well of “pondering the scriptures.”

—Jim Richards, poetry editor, Irreantum