The Common Good
Photo: Brandon Hook / Sojourners

Julie Polter

Senior Associate Editor

Julie grew up barefoot and semi-feral on a farm in the northwest corner of Ohio. At 18 she began winding her way east, drawn by easy access to black clothing and strong coffee. She took a right turn in Boston and ended up in Washington. Her education includes early childhood immersion in “Gilligan’s Island,” English literature at Ohio State University, theology at Boston University, and a recent M.F.A. degree in creative nonfiction from George Mason University. The latter has led to research and writing about the people who have lived in her Columbia Heights house and neighborhood over the past century or so. Julie also learned much, some of it useful, while sharing an office with art director Ed Spivey for a dozen years; she now has her own space, but doesn’t miss Ed, since his office is next door and the walls are thin.

Julie’s abridged list of inspirations: Flannery O’Connor, Dorothea Lange, David Sedaris, Zora Neale Hurston, Rev. Billy. The gospel according to pop: indie music, 60s pop and soul, ‘ 70s funk & punk, on it goes. Eastern North Carolina barbecue. “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.” A grandmother who never stopped praying, despite poverty, abuse, and ill health. The other grandmother, who once gave a house away. My mother, questioning, sarcastic, dreaming of more than she ever got. The three amazing young women who are my nieces. Peg & beam barn construction. Belle & Sebastian’s “State That I’m In.” The Perseids meteor showers. Ezekiel’s performance art prophecy. Diner communions (finding Christ in vinyl-upholstered booths).

Some Sojourners articles by Julie Polter:

Replacing Songs with Silence
Censorship, banning, blacklists: What’s lost when governments stifle musical expression?

It’s the Sprawl, Y’all
Why suburbs-on-steroids are wearing out their welcome. 

Extreme Community
A glimpse of grace and abundance from - of all things - reality TV.

The Politics of Fear

The Cold Reaches of Heaven
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Bill Phillips talks about his faith.

Just Stop It
Daring to believe in a life without logos. An interview with journalist Naomi Klein.

Called to Stand with Workers

Women and Children First
Developing a common agenda to make abortion rare.

Obliged to See God (on Flannery O’Connor)

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Blog Posts by Julie Polter

Posted by Julie Polter 1 year 44 weeks ago
NPR reports that Michigan state representative Lisa Brown was not allowed speak on other legislation yesterday after she made a speech against a bill restricting abortion in which she used the word "...
Posted by Julie Polter 1 year 49 weeks ago
Whenever there’s talk about honoring mothers and motherhood, I’m always looking for how we as individuals and a society will support the women—of any race, creed, or orientation--who have to scoop up...
Posted by Julie Polter 2 years 52 weeks ago
Posted by Julie Polter 3 years 48 weeks ago
Posted by Julie Polter 3 years 49 weeks ago

Articles by Julie Polter

St. Peter's B List: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints by Ave Maria Press / Making Neighborhoods Whole: A Handbook for Christian Community Development by IVP Books / Noah's Flood: Ancient Stories of Natural Cataclysm by Ingrid Esther Lilly / iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Personal Lives by Brazos Press

Just Jesus by Walter Wink with Steven Berry / On "Strangers No Longer" by Paulist Press / Eve by Angélique Kidjo / O Taste and See by Bonnie Thurston

Creating a Scene in Corinth: A Simulation. Herald Press.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life by Nancy Koester / Blood Brother by Steve Hoover / The Nonviolent Life by John Dear / Introduction to First Nations Ministry by Cheryl Bear-Barnetson

Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk by Delores S. Williams / Social Music by Jon Batiste and Stay Human / What Do We Tell the Children: Talking to Kids About Death and Dying by Joseph M. Primo / The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy is Shaping the Church by Phyllis Tickle and John M. Sweeney