What’s still good in the world: Essayist Christopher de Vinck, Feb. 15 at Morristown library

Author Christopher de Vinck
Author Christopher de Vinck
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Christopher de Vinck meets another eternal optimist, the Pope.
Christopher de Vinck meets another eternal optimist, the Pope.

Reading the news — real and “fake” — is a disturbing exercise these days.

But all is not lost, according to author Christopher de Vinck.

His essays have garnered praise from Mr. Rogers to Ronald Reagan, and on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, de Vinck will offer A Celebration of What is Still Good in the World, at 7 pm in the Morristown & Township Library.

Admission is free, at One Miller Road, Morristown. Here’s more.

FROM THE MORRISTOWN & TOWNSHIP LIBRARY:

Wednesday Feb. 15, 2017, at 7 PM

Author Christopher de Vinck
Author Christopher de Vinck

Are you losing your faith in goodness and innocence and in a purity of heart?

Come hear Christopher de Vinck speak about finding goodness in our ordinary lives and listen to the remarkable people he met such as Pope John Paul II and the personal friendships he made from theologian Henri Nouwen to children’s television personality Fred Rogers.

Christopher de Vinck is the author of The Power of the Powerless and 11 other books, an Op/Ed freelance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The N.J. Record, a father of three, a husband, a teacher, and a man who still sees the world with a child-like vision that will bring you back to love, your homes, your memories and to your certitude that the world has far more joys than sorrows. 

His books have won two Christopher awards; he has been invited to gives hundreds of talks all over the country as a keynote speaker at conventions, universities, hospitals, and retreat centers.

Christopher has a doctorate in education from Columbia University, a 40-year career in public education, and he promises that if you join him for an evening, you will leave with a renewed hope for the future.

Bio

After graduating from Columbia University with a doctorate in education, de Vinck, a 40-year veteran of high school teaching and administration, a husband and father to three children spent every Tuesday night in the basement writing a small essay.

De Vinck, a nationally recognized freelance writer wrote essays about his children, and teaching; about his memories of feeding his disabled brother, and about his adventures ice-skating with his sister on the swamp behind the house, beyond the woods, sometime long ago when we were all children.

One evening he sat at his typewriter and wrote an essay about how his father read aloud to him as a child.

“Because I knew that The Wall Street Journal published clever, human interest essays, I sent my piece to the editor on a whim, knowing full well that the Journal received at least 50 unsolicited essays a day,” de Vinck said.

“To my great delight, I received a call from an editor at The Wall Street Journal saying my piece would be published in three days.”

Since his first published article over 35 years ago, de Vinck, on his own, sharing a room with the furnace, positioned himself as a recognized, national essayist.

His essays have been widely published by many of the country’s best, national newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, The College Board Review, and The National Catholic Reporter.  His essays are also used as models of excellence in college textbooks, and in middle and high school anthologies.

His 12 books of essays have been published by some of this country’s top book companies, and include the following titles: The Power of the Powerless (Doubleday), Only the Heart Knows How to Find Them (Viking), Songs of Innocence and Experience (Viking), Simple Wonders (HarperCollins), Threads of Paradise (HarperCollins), The Book of Moonlight (HarperCollins), Love’s Harvest (Crossroad Books),  Finding Heaven (Loyola Press), and Moments of Grace (Paulist Press).

Today, de Vinck continues to write his essays for local and national publications, and travels throughout the country where he gives talks about family, disabilities, education, and writing. He lives with his wife, Roe, in Pompton Plains New Jersey and with their black cat, Stuart.

This program supported by the Friends of the Library.

Praise for Christopher de Vinck

“Christopher de Vinck’s writings are widely and wisely attentive; they neglect neither the failures and anguish nor the compassion and hope of this world. They are elegant. They give insight and comfort. They cannot help but nurture the spirit.”  ­ – Mary Oliver

 “De Vinck’s point of view about life and love and children and teachers is important for the world at this near end of a sorry century. I would like as many people as possible to know his work.”  – Madeleine L’Engle

“Christopher de Vinck has the insight and the courage to speak for those small devotions, dangerously unfashionable in our time, by which a human community lives.” – Wendell Berry

“A teacher, a poet, an essayist, but most of all a wise and human pilgrim who has a lot to offer the rest of us, his fellow pilgrims.” – Robert Coles

“Charles Lamb comes to mind when I think of Christopher de Vinck. Here is a true affinity across more than a hundred years. Who today but de Vinck has that charm, delightful humanity, laughter and wisdom? Rare the writer who does, so we must treasure Christopher.
– May Sarton

“In a time of great international upheaval, full of violence and war, Chris de Vinck’s reflections are like a little oasis of peace. More than any other author I know, Chris has the unique gift of revealing the beauty of the ordinary, the truth hidden in the small events of life, and the light shining through the brokenness of our daily existence. This book is a true gift of peace and an urgent call to discover that peace right where we live.  – Henri Nouwen

“Christopher is the rare combination of art and innocence. He’s ever the sophisticated artist and he is even the person whose innocence belies our common conception of artists. Few spiritual writers write with as much literary talent and as much care for the literary quality of what they are doing. – Ron Rolheiser

“For years I’ve been reading Chris de Vinck’s essays in newspapers, magazines, journals and books. Here at last is de Vinck – father, teacher, dreamer – under one roof! Now, instead of spending all that time photocopying his articles for friends, I can just send the book.” – Jim Trelease

“Chris de Vinck is a blessing through his writing and his person. I am grateful for his simple wonders, and the great wonders of our lifelong friendship.”– Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood)

“Chris de Vinck’s real subject is magic, the magic to be found in ordinary life, in a conversation with a child, in the unexpected sighting of a school of dolphins. Such magic is there for all of us to see, but I don’t know of another writer who sees it so wholly, with such consistency, and respect, and sweetness. He is like a miner who digs where others see no gold, and who each day finds riches.” – Peggy Noonan

“Christopher de Vinck’s love of family and respect for its values shine out of every page he writes. I recommend his thoughtful, generously caring essays to every person who is looking for reassurance that the virtues and verities of the committed life are still alive and well in America.” – Eunice Kennedy-Shriver

“We sometimes fall into the habit of thinking that the weakest among us, like your brother Oliver, are a burden we must stoically bear. But you show that they can teach us the deepest lessons of love. Your writing will help many people to recognize this truth.
– President Ronald Reagan (unsolicited letter from the President when he was in the White House.)

 

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