We had the good fortune of connecting with Ron Starbuck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ron, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Saint Julian Press as a literary and educational organization embraces a vision to create a local and worldwide community. Our desire is to engage in an artistic and diverse dialogue that promotes world peace, multicultural conversations, enlightened minds, compassion, and an interfaith awareness, appreciation, and acceptance. In our mission as a new creative imprint, we aspire to identify, encourage, nurture, and share transformative literature and art of both past and living masters. While giving emerging artists, poets, and writers a place they may come home to and share their work; celebrating the lasting mystery within creation that calls humanity into an enduring relationship with one another.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am Publisher/CEO/Executive Editor of Saint Julian Press, a poet and writer, an Episcopalian, and author of There Is Something About Being An Episcopalian, When Angels Are Born, and Wheels Turning Inward, three rich collections of poetry, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions. I have been deeply engaged in an Interfaith-Buddhist-Christian dialogue for many years, and hold a lifelong interest in literature, poetry, mysticism, comparative literature and religion, theology, and various forms of contemplative practice. I’ve been a contributing writer for Parabola Magazine. And have had poems, translations, and essays published in Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature, an interview and poem in The Criterion: An Online International Journal in English, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, ONE from MillerWords (Feb. 2016), and Pirene’s Fountain, Volume 7 Issue 15, from Glass Lyre Press (Oct. 2014), Levure Littéraire (France – 2017 & 2018), La Piccioletta Barca (Nov. 2019), and The Tulane Review (Fall 2019). Forming an independent literary press to work with emerging and established writers and poets, and tendering new introductions to the world at large in the framework of an interfaith and cross cultural literary dialogue has been a long time dream. I’m also a former Vice President with JP Morgan Chase and a public sector information technology Executive Program Manager, connecting teams and people with new technologies in the financial sector and local government.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a citizen of the world in so many good and important ways. My best friend is someone I’ve know since childhood, he was the best man at our wedding. His children have always called me uncle, so they are a part of our extended family. Over the last few years, my wife Joanne and I, have spent the holiday season in the Tuscan countryside of Italy, in the Val d’Orcia region close to towns of Pienza and Monticchiello. There is a standing invitation for him and his guest to join us there when we can all travel again safely. The Val d’Orcia was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2004. It is a landscape of breathtaking beauty and art and wonderful food. In the small village of Montefollonico, close to the larger city of Montepulciano, there is an intimate restaurant named Ristorante 13 Gobbi. I would want to take them there to taste some of their special dishes. And to simply walk through the village and light a candle for peace and wellness in the small village church, the Chiesa di San Leonardo. These are humble places filled with history, humanity, atmosphere, art, and beauty. The people there live a modest life, far from the hectic life we find in America’s metropolitan areas. We would offer this time and place as a simple and loving gift, shared between old friends.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The ShoutOut should go to all the poets/writers that Saint Julian Press has published in the last seven years. We’ve published over 42 outstanding works of poetry by 27 poets/writers since 2013. Eight new books of poetry were published this year in 2020, seven of these books are by women poets/writers. Two of our authors are distinguished poets, educators, and scholars; Wendy Barker the Pearl LeWinn Endowed Chair and Poet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at San Antonio; and Kevin McGrath an Associate of the Department of South Asian Studies and Poet Laureate at Lowell House, Harvard University.