In this memoir, internationally acclaimed hymn-poet Brian Wren outlines his life story, describes his writing process, and explores the relationship between words and music. Although (because) Christian hymns are typically sung by untrained voices, they exemplify the abiding and universal appeal of human voices joining together in song. This book will be useful and interdenominationally appealing to students and teachers of church music, theological students, pastors, choir members, and worshipers who care about the words they sing. ""With courage and honesty Brian Wren writes about his life and work as a hymn-poet and theologian. This book provides a rare glimpse into the life and driving forces behind one of the finest hymn writers of our time. I have been blessed to know him and to learn the craft of hymn text writing with his patient encouragement."" --Dan Damon, United Methodist pastor; Associate Editor, Hymnody for Hope Publishing Company ""More than simply a memoir, Barefoot in the Dust reveals Wren's calling as a hymn-poet. From inspiration through the crafting process, this poet and teacher reflects on such essential factors as language choices and the relationship of words and melody. Aspiring poets, hymn lovers, worship leaders, and theological students will find tremendous value here, and the collected hymn texts, along with Wren's comments, are a bonus treasure. Thank you, Brian, for this gift of yourself to all of us."" --Deborah Carlton Loftis, PhD, FHS, Executive Director, The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada ""Wren is one of the mentors whose work honed my life and vocational trajectory. In this book, memoir and wisdom are woven effortlessly together bringing us not only a glimpse of a hymn-poet's journey over time but also reiterating in concise form the lessons he learned along the way about creativity, language, and music. It is an inspirational look at life and vocation passionately embraced. What a gift "" --Marcia McFee, PhD, Creator, The Worship Design Studio ""When I was a brand-new assistant professor at Columbia Seminary, I had the incomparable experience of teaching worship and preaching with Brian Wren. I knew every day that I was in the presence of greatness. Reading this book is like sitting at his feet once again, or--as Brian always preferred it--stopping by his office for tea and conversation about life's deep mysteries. Every page glows with quiet wisdom, humanity, and brilliance. What a gift, to have this glimpse into the life and creative process of the leading hymn-poet of our time."" --Anna Carter Florence, PhD, Peter Marshall Professor of Preaching, Columbia Theological Seminary Brian Wren is English by birth and Reformed by tradition. He is Emeritus Professor of Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. As an internationally published hymn-poet, he has entries in denominational hymnals in North America, Britain, and Australia. Brian holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Oxford University. A retired Minister of the United Reformed Church (UK), he is a Fellow of the Hymn Society U.S. and Canada. His hymn publishers are Hope Publishing Company (USA) and Stainer & Bell (UK).