Editor, Sojourners magazine

Julie has been a member of the Sojourners magazine editorial staff since 1990. For the last several years she has edited the award-winning Culture Watch section of the magazine. In her time at Sojourners she has written about a wide variety of political and cultural topics, from the abortion debate to the working class blues. She has coordinated in-depth coverage of Flannery O’Connor, campaign finance reform, Howard Thurman, the labor movement, and much more.

She studied English literature at Ohio State University and has an M.T.S. (focused on language and narrative theology) from Boston University and an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from George Mason University.

Julie grew up on a farm in the northwest corner of Ohio. She has been fascinated by the power of religious expression in and through culture since she can remember. Obsessively listening to her older sister’s copy of the Jesus Christ Superstar cast recording when she was 10 was an especially crystallizing experience. In addition, Julie’s mother often argued about doctrine and the Bible and took her at least weekly to the public library, both of which were useful background for Julie’s current work.

She lives in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and is a member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (where she had an unlikely four-year reign as rummage sale czarina). Her personal interests overlap nicely with her professional ones: Music, books, reading entertainment, culture, and religion writing, art, architecture, TV, films, and knowing more celebrity gossip than is probably wise or healthy. To make up for all that screen time, she tries to grow things, hike occasionally, and wonder often at the night sky.

Some Sojourners articles by Julie Polter:

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

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

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)

Posts By This Author

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 01-01-2011
Four January 2011 culture recommendations from our editors
Nonviolent Power

Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC gathers powerful oral histories from 52 women, "northern and southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white, and Latina" who were on the front lines of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. University of Illinois Press

Tell Me, Tell Me

In a Winnipeg, Manitoba, high school where 58 languages were spoken among the student body, a teacher started an after-school storytelling project to bridge the gaps between immigrant and Canadian students. The documentary The Storytelling Class tells of the students' experience. Bullfrog Films

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 12-01-2010

Georgia Peace

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 12-01-2010

Glory and Power

And the Survey Says...

by Julie Polter 11-01-2010
When it comes to God and country, who are we? And who might we become?

The Borderlands of Publishing

by Julie Polter 11-01-2010

Writers who want to let both their faith and their creativity run free are finding a home in the Christian literary underground

Game Changers

by Julie Polter 09-01-2010

Insights on being the first in the family to graduate from college.

The Gospel Truth About Organizing

by Julie Polter 09-01-2010

In the September-October issue, Danny Duncan Collum cuts through paranoid misrepresentations of community organizing to the quiet, hopeful truth: Congregation-based organizing groups are helping pe

First-Generation College Students

by Julie Polter 09-01-2010
Audio Interviews

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 09-01-2010

Consider All the Works

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 08-01-2010

Seeking the Beloved

Extended Interview with Richard Rodriguez

by Julie Polter 07-01-2010

An Interview with Richard Rodriguez

'I Kneel to the Desert God': An interview with Richard Rodriguez

by Julie Polter 07-01-2010
Faith's roots in a dry land.

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 07-01-2010

Be Not Consumed

New and Noteworthy

by Julie Polter 06-01-2010

The Virtual and the Divine

Telling Stories True: An Interview with Sara Zarr

by Julie Polter 05-17-2010

Kirkus Reviews calls Sara Zarr's third young adult novel,

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

by Julie Polter 05-12-2010
Well, they're at it again.

Antidotes to Cynicism

by Julie Polter 05-01-2010
Books that help us put heart and soul into action.

The words “hope” and “change” have been taking a beating lately: mocked by some, tarnished in the political sphere by partisan gridlock, seeming like mere illusions to many who need them most. But hope and positive transformation are more profound realities than will ever fit comfortably in the 24-hour news cycle; they germinate in individual hearts and local communities and grow along the long arc of history.

Whether you’re trying to nurture change in your church community, neighborhood, or on a larger scale for our battered, beautiful world, here are some books that can get you started, keep you going, or help you begin again. Because hope, while sometimes down, is never out.

For starters, there’s the new and revised version of Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times, by Paul Rogat Loeb (St. Martin’s Press). Through the stories and voices of dozens of activists from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs, Loeb names the psychological and cultural barriers that can stop us from becoming involved in issues that we care about and explores how such hindrances can be overcome. While not writing from a faith perspective, Loeb sees the search for meaning and values as key to the activist life, and includes several people of faith among his interviewees. This thoughtfully researched, engaging book is both grounded and inspiring. First published in 1999, it has been updated to include perspectives and insights from the tumultuous first decade of the 21st century.

Just Friends?

by Julie Polter 04-01-2010
Facebook and the redefinition of privacy.

Resources on Privacy and Facebook

by Julie Polter 04-01-2010

For the casual Facebook user, it can be a little confusing to find all the available options for privacy control that are on Facebook.

5 Books to Spark Your Soul

by Julie Polter 03-23-2010
Alas, simply reading a book won't make you a better person.