Brian Doyle was the long-time editor of the University of Portland's Portland Magazine, a quarterly publication that won Newsweek's Sibley Award in 2005, as the best university magazine in America. The university awarded him an honorary doctorate during its graduation ceremony in early May. He was the author of numerous books of essays, fiction, poems, and nonfiction, among them the novels Mink River; The Plover; and the young adult novel, Martin Marten, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award and the 2017 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing. In 2008, he was also the recipient of the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. As a poet, Doyle was known for his prose poems, which he called "proems," and his collections include A Shimmer of Something (Liturgical Press, 2014) and the recently released, The Kind of Brave You Wanted To Be (Liturgical Press, 2016). He is survived by his wife, Mary, and their daughter, Lily, and twin sons, Liam and Joseph. The family lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Here's why I believe that indeed yes, a young woman in Italy once
Conversed at length with the One Whom No Name Can Encompass
In the year 1375 or so, by our calendar, although God knows which
Calendar the One goes by. He called her dearest daughter, you see?
That doesn't happen unless he really is a father. That's the real deal.
There's a fury of love for your kid, a tumult of feeling for which our
Words are flimsy. Like our words for the One. Sometimes I pretend
Not to hear you, he said to her, But I do hear you. Boy, I know these
Words. Never lower your voice in crying out to me, he says--never
Stop knocking at the door. I know this guy. He's a dad. His children
Drive him nuts and he would die for them without hesitation. This is
What I try to say to people when they say what's with the whole guy
On the cross thing, man, that's macabre, that's sick, you people look
At a guy dying of torture every day, you hang Him in your churches
And houses and offices, you carry a dying guy in your pocket, that's
Just weird, and I try to say he's a dad. He volunteered. You'd do the
Same for your kids. Sure He grumbled about it, in the garden. I have
Stomped down to the laundry room to snarl and throw shoes around.
But I go back upstairs because I love them more than I could explain.
They drive you nuts but yes you would die for them. I know this guy.
—St. Peter’s B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints (Ave Maria Press, 2014)