(Video) Hal Poe – “When Cultures Collapse: The Gospel and the Future”

The following is the first plenary talk from the Inklings Fellowship’s An Inklings Week in Oxford by Dr. Harry Lee (Hal) Poe. His title was “When Cultures Collapse: The Gospel and the Future.” It was given at St. Giles Church on Monday, July 18, 2016.

Please note that the video was NOT professionally recorded. It was done by me using my Galaxy Note 4 phone  and was one of the first attempts to record a lecture. While the video itself is clear, the audio did not turn out as well as hoped.

Writing Tips from Lewis and Tolkien (King and Poe)

King and Poe2 - Writing Tips

What can a person learn about how to improve one’s writing from C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien? That was the subject Dr. Don King and Dr. Hal Poe addressed in a session I moderated to kick off a Creative Writing Festival held for high school students at Montreat College on March 31, 2017. This was held just prior to the start of and apart from the Inklings Fellowship Weekend Retreat. At the last minute it ended up being recorded and the results were better than expected, so I thought I’d share the enjoyable time I had with Don and Hal chatting about Lewis and Tolkien in relation to writing. Note that below is are links to an online list of Lewis’ works as well as a handout that Dr. King makes reference to that you might find useful.


Listen to Writing Tips from Lewis and Tolkien



2017 Inklings Weekend in Montreat

2017 Inklings WeekendThe 2017 Inklings Weekend is approaching soon. This event will be in Montreat (N.C.) March 31st – April 2nd. Dr. Hal Poe, who organizes the weekend is the guest for the show. The theme this year is “G. K. Chesterton and other Voices that Shaped C. S. Lewis.” Speakers at the event include Dr. Joseph Pearce, Nigel Goodwin, along with Don and Hal.

Listen to 2017 Inklings Interview


Highlights Inklings Week in Oxford 2016

Highlights Inklings OXFORD 2016
Most of you are aware that last month (July, 2016) there was an event in England called “An Inklings Week in Oxford.” It was hosted by the Inklings Fellowship. There were 10 plenary talks (one hour), five “second breakfast” speakers (thirty minutes) and also each morning during morning worship there was someone sharing to help put the day in focus. Obviously it would be too large of a task to highlight all of that, so what follows is a podcast that shares short excerpts from talks most related to Lewis or his works. As noted in the introduction the purpose of this show is to remind those who attend what it was like and to let others know what they missed so they will consider attending the next one in 2019! All talks shared today were given at St. Giles Church in Oxford. 


Listen to Highlights Inklings Week in Oxford 2016


32nd Screwtape Letter Fragment Discovered

I’m so excited to share a discovery I made that I’m not waiting to publish it later (like some more respected scholars would do). Although I’ll probably released a revised version soon in The Babylon Bee or The Onion.

As the title suggests, I’ve come across a fragment of what appears to be a previously undiscovered letter from Screwtape! I came across the unfinished piece while on an Inklings walk guided by Dr. Hal Poe. Another participant noticed something unusual while we paused between buildings and looked inside only to discover the filming of the Inspector Morse show. I met the actor (his name is not important to this tale) and we struck up a short conversation. Turns out he had on him this questionable written piece and freely gave it to me because he heard of my enhanced study guide called C.S. Lewis Goes to Hell. He assured me that his nephew found it at a secondhand bookshop in the back of a copy of The Screwtape Letters. I told this to Stan Shelley, noted collector and seller of Inklings items and he stormed off rather quickly…I’m sure to locate the bookstore (or it could have been to the toilet, as he had been drinking one of those big 32oz drinks from the local Sheets gas station).

The fragment in question is transcribed below, but I also need to say that I sent pictures of the handwritten piece to Dr. Charlie Starr, the nomad, and handwriting Lewis scholar. His statement to me was that he’d not only stop wearing his signature hat, but eat it, if someone else found it to not be authentic!

Dr. Don King, noted U.S. expert on Lewis’ poetry was upset with the finding because he feared it would overshadow an early poem he discovered the day before written by Lewis when he was just five. (Spoiler Alert) It’s rather short, I don’t know why it would be noteworthy…after all, it only says: “I’m a poet and I know it.”

I waited until about midnight to reveal the news to Dr. Hal Poe and his only comment before abruptly hanging up on me was, “This is embarrassing, next thing you know it will be revealed that Lewis and his wife, Joy were lovers of disco music.”

Without further ado about nothing (to quote Shakespeare, or was it his brother?):

My Dear Wormwood’s Father,

     I write to inform you of your son’s failure as I had already predicted to you. Ever since you married my sister and pushed your child from a previous marriage into the Training College, I warned you nothing good would come of it! But being a good brother I did what I could…I even gave him an easy assignment. As a result I do hope you aren’t seriously considering sending your other son, Snaggletooth through the college. And also… 

I’m afraid that is where the fragment ends. As you can guess, this discovery will surely change the shape of Lewis studies for many decades to come. That’s because others will no doubt visit Oxford and wonder around the streets in search of their random opportunity to find such a great treasure of fool’s gold as I have found.