Lionel Basney, who taught at Calvin College, was a poet, a gardener, and an environmental activist. Specializing in Shakespeare and eighteenth-century literary criticism, he was deeply mourned at his death in 1999. The Lionel Basney Award recognizes the best essay published annually in Christianity & Literature.

A Reading Light

remembering Howard McConaughy

After the riddling pain,
after the doctors' helpless tact,
we hope you will know rest, and then
the crucial fact
of the face of God. What that will be
is more than anyone can tell.
Even Dante, beyond the sea
that laughs at hell
could only hint and take it back.
Hints, then: light on an open book,
no end of meanings. You will lack
no solace. Look.