LACEY Wash. – Sometimes a child doesn’t walk this earth, not even for a day. But they remain in the hearts of their parents forever, these miscarried or stillborn children and the dreams and hopes they inspired. An essay by Prof. David Hlavsa, who teaches theatre arts and interdisciplinary studies at Saint Martin’s University, reflects on the birth of his son James, who died before he was born, and on the pain, grief and growth that followed for Hlavsa and his wife Lisa Holtby.
On Wednesday, Hlavsa’s essay, “My First Son, a Pure Memory,” will be read on “Modern Love,” a widely downloaded weekly podcast produced by NPR station WBUR Boston and the New York Times. Hlavsa’s essay will be read by Emmy-nominated actor Sterling K. Brown. “Modern Love” features a well-known actor reading an essay of their choice, then commenting on why she or he chose the piece. Afterward, the podcast’s editor, Dan Jones, comments on the piece and interviews the author. Because of the subject matter, he will interview both Hlavsa and his wife Lisa. Hlavsa’s essay was originally published by the Times on Sept. 19, 2008.
To hear Hlavsa’s essay and interview Wednesday on “Modern Love,” go to www.npr.org/podcasts/469516571/modern-love.
Hlavsa, Holtby and their son Benjamin live in Seattle. Hlavsa is also the author of the book, “Walking Distance: Pilgrimage, Parenthood, Grief, and Home Repairs,” which recently was named a gold INDIEFAB Book of the Year in the family and relations category by Foreward Reviews. The book, published in 2015 by Michigan State University, also was a finalist in the memoir category. Foreward Reviews is a trade review quarterly widely used by booksellers and librarians.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 340 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.
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