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Joel David Kilgore
The Spirit's Call

Middle Grade; Poetry; (Publish)

This book is a compilation of the poems written to or for individuals, in prayer or praise to God, or just in general. The poems in this book were written for various occasions and a variety of subjects.

Debut poet and devout Christian Kilgore attests that although he penned the poems in his ecclesiastic collection, “God is the true author,” and that the purpose of his poetry is to “bind hearts back to God” so that his readers may find their own connection to Christ. Kilgore is most successful in this ambitious endeavor when he dramatizes his own spiritual euphoria, like in “Latter Rain,” which builds to these potent declarations: “This feeling that enraptured me // And shook my whole of frame, // Was God descending on my soul // His spirit’s Latter Rain.”

Kilgore also includes plenty of material beyond his experience with Christ in The Spirit’s Call. At times, his verses are playful, as in “The Grandchild” “As grandkids go // They are such fun, // They make us laugh // They love to run,” and at others solemn, as in “Sails Up” “For me you should not worry // Of that where I have gone, //With set sails and bow pointed // I will be sailing on.” Readers who can excuse some typographical errors will find his poetry to be accessible yet expansive in encapsulating the breadth of human experience, especially for those who follow the Christian faith.

Life is both silly and tragic, “as pertains to God’s plan,” and Kilgore’s collection provides poems that can serve Christians in each season of their lives, whether they require prayer, guidance, or a path to spiritual inquiry. In his introduction, Kilgore expresses the hope that his poetry will “explain God’s mysteries,” yet his collection goes far beyond that desire; it explores, and in this exploration, he offers readers of faith something better than answers: “Yet do we know the reason // Of what we see at night? // Perhaps it’s just the echo // Of words - - ‘Let there be light…’”.

Takeaway: Lyric, accessible poems deeply rooted in prayer and a spiritual connection to Christ.

Comparable Titles: Luci Shaw, Scott Cairns’s Anaphora.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: B
Editing: C
Marketing copy: A-