‘I am the rod to their lightning.’

In the December 2012 issue of Poetry Magazine, Mary Karr takes a crack at writing a poem in the voice of Our Lady.

“I mean, it’s a very lonely culture.”

Writer Mary Karr discusses her conversion to Catholicism with the local NPR station!

“The reviewers have said, you know, I don’t believe in God, but now I understand in a way how somebody could. And I think that was my goal, to sort of explain to people. And in some way, I think I’m better suited than most people because I had no religious beliefs my entire life. I wasn’t baptized, I wasn’t brought up in any faith. And so in some ways, my life long lack of belief, I think, makes me a good describer of how faith comes to those — to the disbelieving.

“So when I was baptized, my friend Richard Ford – you know, the great novelist – sent me a postcard that said, not you on the pope’s team. Say it ain’t so. But then Ford wound up sending me a fan letter. He said, ‘I was really gunning for you, Karr, on this one. But you pulled it out.’ So hopefully I’ve written about faith in a way that should speak to nonbelievers.

“I really want to — I’m not trying to convert anybody, but I would like us all to be able to sit in the same room with one another. On my website, which is, you know, Mary Karr Lit Up on Facebook, I love seeing people who are often fundamentalist Christians or very strict Catholics or Jewish or with new age people, with people who are complete pagans, all sort of come together and talk about — share their hopes and fears. You upon, that’s to me what faith is about, is being able to stand together as human beings and not want to blow each other up with machine guns, which is what I want to do most days on the subway.”