Parker J. Palmer: Wise Guy

Utne Reader visionary

| November-December 2011

  • Parker-Palmer-sm.jpg

    Zina Saunders / www.zinasaunders.com

  • Parker-Palmer-sm.jpg

Parker J. Palmer was chosen as an Utne Reader visionary in 2011. Each year Utne Reader puts forward its selection of world visionaries—people who don’t just concoct great ideas but also act on them.

Parker J. Palmer Online Extras | 2011 Visionaries Home Page 

Type Möbius strip into your favorite search engine and you’ll find images of a long, rectangular piece of paper that’s been given a half-twist and taped together to form a loop. The resulting surface has only one side and no end.

“I often talk about life on the Möbius strip,” says the 72-year-old public intellectual Parker J. Palmer. “That wonderful form that you can trace with your finger and find that what looks like the inside surface keeps merging seamlessly into the outside surface, and vice versa. So that the inner and outer are not two different things, but they’re constantly co-creating each other. That’s become a metaphor for me about the way life works.”

An accessible author with an empathetic heart and a philosopher’s head, Palmer is a modern-day wise man whose nine books, including the just-published Healing the Heart of Democracy, appreciate with each ruminative reading.



His best-known volumes, including Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach, guide readers looking to express their personal passions professionally. He also examines social constructs and institutional limitations through a spiritual, but decidedly nondogmatic, lens. Taken in pieces or as a whole, the work rejuvenates and empowers because it encourages both solitary introspection and collective action.

“I write about the things I struggle with. I write about the things that baffle me,” he says. “My writing is an effort to peel back the next layer, so I can keep moving on.”



Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter