Author Reading & Book Discussion of Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax September 1, 2015 By Event Details Date: Thursday, Sep 24th, 2015, 11:45 am Venue: Quadrangle Building 264 Categories: Author Reading Tags: Michael N. McGregor, Robert Lax, Thomas Merton The Collegeville Institute and CSB/SJU Libraries invite you to join author Michael N. McGregor for a Reading and Book Discussion of his recently published book, Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax. This is an invitation-only event. If you wish to be part of this event, we ask that you read the book in advance and come prepared for a thoughtful discussion. A complimentary copy of the book will be provided to you. RSVP to Jan Schmitz at email@example.com by Monday, August 17, 2015. Pure Act tells the story of poet Robert Lax, whose quest to live a true life as both an artist and a spiritual seeker inspired Thomas Merton, Jack Kerouac, William Maxwell and a host of other writers, artists and ordinary people. Known in the U.S. primarily as Merton’s best friend and in Europe as a daringly original avantgarde poet, Lax left behind a promising New York writing career to travel with a circus, live among immigrants in post-war Marseilles and settle on a series of remote Greek islands where he learned and recorded the simple wisdom of the local people. Born a Jew, he became a Catholic and found the authentic community he sought in Greek Orthodox fishermen and sponge divers. Michael met Lax in Greece when he was a young seeker himself and visited him regularly over fifteen years, Pure Act is an intimate look at an extraordinary but little-known life. Much more than just a biography, it’s a tale of adventure, an exploration of friendship, an anthology of wisdom, and a testament to the liberating power of living an uncommon life. Michael worked on his manuscript while serving as a Collegeville Institute Resident Scholar during fall semester, 2011. Michael teaches in the Department of English at Portland State University and serves as a writing coach for the Collegeville Institute writing workshop, Apart and Yet a Part.