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

Lamentations 3:1-18

Happiness is God


Ryan Pendell


Curated by: 


Film, poetry

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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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.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Ryan 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 is the managing editor of Silicon Prairie News and was an editor for the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ryan Pendell

About the Artist

Ryan Pendell

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