Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Carmen Acevedo Butcher is a professor of English and scholar-in-residence at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia. She was the Carnegie Foundation professor of the year for Georgia in 2006, and during the 2004-2005 year she and her family lived and learned in Seoul, South Korea, while she taught as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Sogang University. She has written books on medieval women mystics and linguistics. More information can be found on these at her website. (Photo credit: Katherine Butcher.)

Contributions by Carmen Acevedo Butcher
By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Why do we want to be perfect? That thought has come back to me over and again as I’ve done some concrete repair around our house. In my old, ripped, Pollock-esque-paint-splattered khakis and once-proud tan Gap short-sleeve shirt of the same condition...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

New life is always messy. And it can seem alien at first. Add to that realities like fluctuating hormones and the transition can be hard. When I was pregnant, I tried everything, including eating saltines...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

During this season, we give thanks for our blessings. Well, we do if we can find the time and peace of mind to do that when papers must be graded, studying done, or work projects finished while steam rises from bubbling pots...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Bent over in the backyard in my faded blue jeans with the too-long, fraying leg bottoms, I pull on a weedy vine. My soft old t-shirt is decorated with a border of Union Jacks framing Churchill’s bulldog stare...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Worry and love fuel my prayers for each student. I pray, from my first years of teaching at The University of Georgia during grad school through my many years of teaching here at Shorter, that every class will become a learning community...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

I grew up watching my neighbor Hoyt watch the world go by. After Hoyt had retired from the cotton mill, he sat on his porch — a lot. I’m not saying he did nothing, because he also had a large garden and tended football-field-length chicken houses...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Far north off England’s east coast, near Scotland, is Holy Island, known as “Lindisfarne” at first millennium’s close. Its vibrant monastery could only be reached from the mainland at low tide, by a path of mud and sand flats . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Stranded high on a cracking vinyl cushion, I tried not to blink, eyes filling with regret. I’d picked the pixie cut after browsing waiting-room Glamour magazines, but watching six inches of my dark locks lopped off . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Soon after publishing my translation of that medieval book on prayer, The Cloud of Unknowing, I crash-landed in a counselor’s office. I had become a jittery, work-driven insomniac whose old ways of coping had failed. I was living fifteen-hour writing days . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

I had worked there three months without even so much as tapping it once. I had, however, eyed, admired, analyzed, wondered at, and resisted it. Scholarship-enabled, I was an anxiety-ridden sophomore . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Often I find myself sitting across from a student in my office as the conversation moves from gerunds and infinitives, deadlines and revisions, applications and careers, to family difficulties and personal worries. I pray a lot then. If a student’s stress . . . 

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

The low, dull roar of an industrial fan in concert with the higher-pitched hum of the wet-dry vac in my office drew my heart’s easily preoccupied ear to God’s ever underlying, eloquent silence . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Strong lungs gave loud cries that opened my sky and started tears I couldn’t control; this joy’s never-before-ness soaked my cheeks. I wanted to see the new person my husband was holding . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

My bottom was already numb, and my skinny shoulder blades ached against the hard wooden pew where weekly as a child I sat obediently a few rows back on the left-hand side of the church with my family. Mostly I spent a lot of time staring at the stack of big black hymn numbers . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

The bouquet of shiny red and blue stars jostled each other for position against the car’s soft tan ceiling. The squeak of plastic rubbing plastic made me think about the community that can be nourished by the simple act of buying helium balloons . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

The student pulled the frayed bill of his dark gray baseball cap over his eyebrows and slumped further down on the brown sofa in my office. He had been late again with a paper . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

I was watching our seven-year-old son who had been playing a long time, rolling Matchbox cars across “roads” in the den rug’s intricate patterns and blowing car noises through his lips. When I said . . 

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Under the alias “Squire George,” a bearded knight rode from Wartburg Castle and its safety, heading northeast to Wittenberg to check on the Reformation’s progress . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

I was born with a hole in my heart. It tired me out more quickly than my friends on playgrounds and regularly sent me to Egleston Hospital on Atlanta’s Emory University campus . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

I went strawberry-picking with a friend the other day. The afternoon sun was welcome after so many weeks of cold, wet weather, and when it got too warm, a good breeze blew coolness through the rows of low-growing green plants . . .

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

This semester I assigned my students a half-day Facebook fast and essay analyzing the experience. Most said Facebook was hard-to-impossible to do without — they schedule extracurricular activities with it, keep up with friends, and, yes, occupy boring hours...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Across campus, singing birds pull out all the stops, and students read in hammocks strung between trees; so spring approaches: “Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!” as Elizabethan playwright Thomas Nashe wrote 400 years ago...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

"May these wise words shine on our wintry souls, frozen by loneliness and hurt, and thaw us." This invocation opens Following Christ: A Lenten Reader to Stretch Your Soul...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

I go for a walk almost every day, so when I can't or don't, I start feeling stiff in the joints...of my soul. Walking helps mend my monkey mind...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

This week, I got to spend time with a two-month-young baby. At lunch with her parents, I asked and was handed her like a gift...

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Do you experience the joy of God’s playfulness? Carmen Acevedo Butcher finds evidence of it in the literature she studies and in her life.

By Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Carmen Acevedo Butcher describes her plans to step away from a daily dance with the Internet and hunker down in the quiet of Lent.