When Lauren Winner first became part of the Image community, we were both in our twenties. She had just published her frank, engaging break-out memoir, Girl Meets God, about her conversion to Christianity; I was awkwardly running my second Glen Workshop (Image’s annual summer arts festival in Santa Fe); and though we’d never met, we were suite-mates in the dorms. I was stressed and under-slept. Her mother was dying. We ended up ordering late-night pizza and driving around in the rental car (I was just old enough) to buy cigarettes at a gas station.
Now, we’re both at mid-life, and I’ve watched her grow into a scholar (her new book, The Dangers of Christian Practice, is from Yale), professor (at Duke), and Episcopal priest, while continuing to develop as a literary memoirist and spiritual writer. Over the years she’s worn a lot of hats for Image, too: writing essays and reviews, teaching and chaplaining at the Glen, and being an editorial advisory board member—besides acting as unofficial staff chaplain.
Her refusal to just pick one thing and go with it, already, is a big part of what makes Lauren such an interesting writer. She consumes visual art, music, novels, poetry, Bible scholarship, and history with rigor, energy, and a generous eclecticism. And all of this is folded back into her own writing, either directly or as metaphor.
Lauren’s breadth as a reader and lover of the arts makes her a perfect fit as Image’s new creative nonfiction editor. She’s tuned into a wide range of cultural channels. She reads compulsively and deeply. And she understands Image’s history, identity, and programs from the inside out.
She has also chosen a team of editorial advisors who reflect this breadth: Emily Bernard, Belle Boggs, Casey Cep, Leslie Jamison, Beth Kephardt, Tova Mirvis, and Timothy B. Tyson.This group will extend her network and awareness of contemporary creative nonfiction; as ambassadors, they’ll extend Image’s reach into new communities and broaden our audience. You can get to know each of them better below.