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Gathering of Larks

Abigail Carroll loves to wander in the woods of Vermont—but it was a period when Carroll couldn’t wander that led to the creation of her new book. Immobilized with a broken foot, Carroll found herself with ample time “to read, think, write, and dream,” and A Gathering of Larks was born.

Abigail Carroll

A Gathering of Larks is a series of poetic letters to St. Francis, a character who has held Carroll’s fascination since a childhood trip to Assisi. These letters—part devotion, part historical biography, part contemporary engagement, and part inspiration—reveal Carroll's curiosity and wonder about Francis. She celebrates his whimsical idealism and impetuousness, explores his spirituality and commitment to poverty, and sometimes even questions him. She also uses Francis as a sounding board for larger questions about the world—and, through her own experience, explores how brokenness makes experiencing redemption possible.

Carroll holds a PhD in American Studies from Boston University, where she has taught history and writing, and her prose and poems have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian CenturySojourners, and numerous other publications. A Gathering of Larks is her second book, following Three Squares, which was a finalist for the Zocalo Public Square Book Prize. Carroll lives near Burlington, Vermont, where she serves as pastor of arts and spiritual formation at Church at the Well.