Bryan Parys is the author of Wake, Sleeper (Cascade Books 2015) and an essayist interested in hybrid poetic forms. His creative work has appeared in Ruminate, Exit 7, and Virga, among others, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart. He's also a writer/editor for Berklee College of Music and resides in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Posts By This Author

What It Took to Change My Mind on Abortion

by Bryan Parys 06-06-2022
An image of a baby appears on a billboard with the words "God doesn't make mistakes; choose life"

An anti-abortion billboard is seen outside of Emmetsburg, Iowa on Jan. 16, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton.

Sharing my story about anything related to abortion causes me to worry for many reasons: For one, in the evangelical context I grew up in, “pro-choice” might as well have been a four-letter word. Secondly, it’s fair to wonder, “What does this dude from New Hampshire, who has had no personal experience with abortion, think he has to offer to this contentious, decades-long debate?” But that’s kind of what this story is about — it’s not what I know about abortion, but what I didn’t.

The Free Ticket: Traveling With An Atheist to the 2012 Wild Goose Festival

by Bryan Parys 07-02-2012
Wild Goose 2012 weekend, Photo by Cathleen Falsani / Sojourners

Wild Goose 2012 weekend, Photo by Cathleen Falsani / Sojourners

Chris is an atheist and a humanist chaplain at Harvard University. He is the only explicitly nonreligious speaker invited to the 2012 Wild Goose Festival in Shakori Hills, N.C.—a festival that is generally (and with exception) aimed at the liberal, often-invisible fringe members of the Christian community. Being that I theoretically fall into this group, Chris offered me his plus-one free ticket.  

While it generally takes an act of God (or, “a series of convergences” Chris might say) for me to make a decision, I told him I’d go. After all, I’d been experiencing my own dark night of the soul where almost every conversation I’ve had about religion/ Christianity over the last year has been doubt-ridden and cynical. In my best mood, I hoped my attendance would put me in touch with some other cynics, believing it might relieve my cosmic guilt. What I secretly feared, however, was that I was going to Wild Goose to break up with the Christian faith I’d grown up under.