Ryan Pendell’s work, Happiness is God, restructures biblical text into a powerful response to the theme of “destruction” and Lamentations 3:1-18:

“I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long…” [read the full text]



From the Artist:

My theme is destruction. I selected a passage from Lamentations, in which the author weeps for the ruin of Jerusalem–yet with some hope (or at least faithfulness). I took the text and destroyed it. I cut it up into pieces. Then I tried to figure out what could come out of it. The poem exists in a liminal space; it hardly exists at all. I think of the Biblical text as a kind of environment that this text lives in, like an animal, an ecological niche, an endangered species.  Like a lion alone.

Ryan_PendellRyan Pendell received in his MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. His poetry has appeared in literary journals nationwide. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.










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