Catholic Distance University

About Us

Dappled Things is a literary magazine dedicated to providing a space for emerging writers to engage the literary world from a Catholic perspective. The magazine is committed to quality writing that takes advantage of the religious, theological, philosophical, artistic, cultural, and literary heritage of the Catholic Church in order to inform and enrich contemporary literary culture.

Letter from the Editor

“Glory be to God for dappled things,” writes the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in the poem “Pied Beauty,” first naming things literally colored with contrasting speckles and patches: streaked skies, spotted trout, great fields sectioned and ploughed and planted. He then extends his definition of “dappled” to mean

“…[a]ll things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim…”

According to Hopkins, dappled things are those things we find irregular and surprising that are in fact lovelier and more lovable for their being irregular and surprising. We can think of an infinite number of such strangely beautiful things: the patches on an overripe fruit, a sudden slow and sad passage in a song, even the inexplicable peace that comes of suffering. These “dappled things,” things at once “swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim,” confound our human love for safety, thwart our wish to see unblemished fruit, to listen to music that does not carry us away, to live a life without challenge. How can it be that we grow to love things that once made us uncomfortable, that we rejoice in things we once found imperfect? How is it that the things, the events, and the men that the world finds weakest and worst often give rise to the greatest joy? It is a mystery, in the fullest sense of the term, and “Pied Beauty” delights in it.

We at Dappled Things delight, too: in that mystery, and in the genius of Gerard Manley Hopkins, that he can muse in a poem on “skies of couple-color as a brinded cow” and yet through that poem hint at the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For surely that is the most dappled thing in all human history, the strangest and the most beautiful, at once “swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim.”

The Psalmist invites us, “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us!” We the editors of Dappled Things invite you, our Catholic brothers and sisters, to sing and shout in our pages about our dappled world. Write about spotted trout and brinded cows, or write about the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We ask only that your work be inspired by your love for Him and His Church in the fullness of her Scripture and Tradition, her sacraments, and her communion of saints.

Mary Angelita Ruiz

Founding Editor-in-Chief

Dappled Things Board

Bernardo Aparicio García


University of Pennsylvania ’05 | International Relations, Economics | St. John’s College ’08 | M.A. in Liberal Arts
dappledthings.aparicio at

Meredith Wise

Editor in Chief

Christendom College ’08 | Classics | University of Kentucky ’11 | M.A. in Classics

Joshua Hren

Managing Editor

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee ’12 | PhD in English, Theology and Fiction |
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee ’05 | Literary Criticism

Mary Angelita Ruiz

Assistant Executive Editor

Columbia University ’05 | English
dappledthings.ruiz at

Eleanor Bourg Nicholson

Assistant Executive Editor

University of Virginia B.A. ’05, M.A. ’07 | English (Victorian & Anti-Catholicism)

Katherine Aparicio

Business and Subscriptions Manager, Associate Editor

University of Pennsylvania ’07 | International Relations, German Studies
dappledthings.katherineaparicio at

Dorian Speed

Web Editor

Trinity University B.A., B.A. ’96,
M.A.T. ’97 | History, Economics
dappledthings.web at

Janice Walker

Art Director; Managing Editor

Art Institute ’06 | Graphic Design

Teresa Burkett

Art Advisor

Matthew G. Alderman

Associate Editor

University of Notre Dame ’06 | Architecture

Marc Barnes

Associate Editor

Katy Carl

Associate Editor

Saint Louis University ’06 | English, Creative/Professional Writing, Philosophy
dappledthings.carl at

M. S. Carter, Ph.D.

Associate Editor

University of Southern California ’06 | History

Cristina Espinas

Associate Editor

Sarah Flamminio

Associate Editor

Kent Lasnoski, Ph.D.

Associate Editor

University of Pennsylvania ’05 | English, Spanish | Marquette University ’11 | Theology

Joe McDonough

Associate Editor

Williams College ’06 | Music, Classics

Everett Reed

Associate Editor

Rev. Father Pang Joseph Shiu Tcheou

Editorial Advisor

Priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg

Stefan Wolansky

Associate Editor

Colgate University ’07 | History