by Kevin Bezner
Following the Light: New and Selected Poems
Kevin Bezner’s work is clear, meditative, honest, refreshing, his voice humble before the world. His poem “Birds” in only ten lines helps to remind us why we had the desire to take up a pen in the first place—to treat the earth right, to find its beauty and terror in words accurate and true.
Walter Pavlich, author of The Spirit of Blue Ink, Ongoing Portraits, and Running Near the End of the World
Following the Light is a valuable meditation on God’s creation, forgiveness, and second chances. This collection beautifully illustrates a deep connection between nature and spiritual healing, and echoes the words of Pope St. John Paul II: “Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity.” Kevin Bezner’s writing and experiences with the world around him give the reader hope and restoration.
Christopher Lux, correspondent for the Catholic News Herald, the official publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, N.C.
Kevin Bezner is a true pilgrim, and Following the Light records his journey with heartening lucidity. Along with him, we can feel "the nothingness / we call self, / which is air, but isn't air." These are devotional poems with which nonbelivers like myself can sympathize, because devotion to nature is good no matter where you stand. When toward the end of his pilgrimage Bezner writes, "My heart is bleeding, but today it bleeds prayer," we understand he has arrived where he started, but knows it anew.
David Mason, Poet Laureate of Colorado and author of Arrivals, poetry; Ludlow, a verse novel; Two Minds of a Western Poet, a collection of essays; and News from the Village, a memoir
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. – Oct. 15, 2014
Kaufmann Publishing announces new book from Kevin Bezner
Conversion story in poetry tells how nature led to Christ
Kevin Bezner lost his faith in the desert of secularism on a slow journey away from the Catholic Church that started when he was in the eighth grade. By the end of high school and twelve years of Catholic schooling, he had abandoned the faith. Later, he put on the cloaks of agnosticism and then atheism as a newspaper reporter and college professor. He was drowning in sin before he was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit during a conversion experience in the mountains of North Carolina in 1998.
Bezner returned to the Catholic Church after nearly thirty years of wandering in the desert of secularism. Part of his journey into the light of Jesus Christ is recorded in his seventh collection of poetry, Following the Light: New and Collected Poems, just released by Kaufmann Publishing.
The result of reflection that at first resembled and then later became a form of meditation and prayer, the poems collected in Following the Light emerge out of Bezner’s relationship with those places where we often encounter God, and where God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit was waiting for him – in the beauty of the natural world and in daily life.
“God is always with us; we're not always with God,” Bezner said in an interview. “God was always reaching out to me. It took a while, but I finally accepted his grace and returned to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. Following the Light is a conversion story in poetry that tells how the beauty of God’s creation led me to the light of Jesus Christ.”