The Nights of Grief and Mystery Tour

By Staff

In Salt Lake City this month

Friends are forged on the dark road heading out of town. And so we head there again, sojourning across the continent in the name of psychic sanity and spiritual resolve in these most troubled and troubling of times.

These are nights in which love letters to life are written and read aloud. There’s some boldness in them. They have that tone. These nights have the mark of our time upon them, and they’re timely, urgent, alert, steeped in mortal mystery. They’re quixotic. They have swagger. What would you call such a thing? We call them Nights of Grief & Mystery.

Part poetry, part lamentation, part book reading, part ribaldry, part concert, part lifting the mortal veil and learning the mysteries there…that’s what’s in store. Concerts for Turbulent Times they surely are.

We aren’t poets—we wouldn’t claim that—but the evenings are poetic. They are musical and grave and raucous and stilling, which probably means they are theatrical. They are ceremonial, you could say. They are nights devoted to the ragged mysteries of being human, and so grief and endings of all kinds appear.

The tour is served by the reckless labors of local friends and accomplices who fashion genuine gigs in their home towns from their dreams for a better day, their labors amounting to a love letter of their own that they are writing to their towns or cities, an act of citizenship of the most profound and responsible kind.

That dark road thing? That image is more than an image. That is what we do. That is our devotional act.

—Stephen Jenkinson


About Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen is a Harvard-educated theologian, culture activist and founder of the Orphan Wisdom School. He is the author of Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, the award-winning book about grief, and dying, and the great love of life. He is the subject of a National Film Board of Canada documentary, Griefwalker. He brings teachings of the ramshackling kind, about honor and grace under pressure, about how we might learn our darkening times. His new book, Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble, wonders about elderhood in an age of age-intolerance, and about the withering of the World Tree.

About Gregory Hoskins

Often described with epithets like “best kept secret,” “unsung” and “an artist that has flown under the radar,” Gregory Hoskins’ career spans 11 recordings over 27 years and record deals on three continents. Hoskins’ lyrics and voice tend to break and bind at the same time in songs that are steeped in beauty and a muscular type of sorrow…and he does it over propulsive grooves, brooding electric guitar work and rich sonics. He and the band use those sonic textures to underpin Jenkinson’s readings, too, using swirls of drums, bass, guitar textures and synth throbs along with vocal harmonies, trumpet, and live looping.



Saturday, November 16, 7-9:30pm

SLC Main Library, Nancy Tessman Auditorium

210 E 400 South

Tickets: $40. https://bit.ly/2MGh9P3

Hear a recent interview with Stephen

Jenkinson by Erin Geesaman Rabke and Carl Rabke here: https://bit.ly/2BBtFZK

This article was originally published on October 28, 2019.