We are excited to announce the release of our new book, Portraits of Peace: Searching for Hope in a Divided America which will be released by Broadleaf Books on September 21, 2021. Preorder now with your favorite bookseller!
Frustrated with an increasingly polarized social landscape, award-winning photographer John Noltner set out on a 40,000-mile road trip across the United States to rediscover the common humanity that connects us. He did so by asking people one simple question: “What does peace mean to you?” Through difficult conversations, gentle humor, and a keen eye for beauty, Noltner’s Portraits of Peace captures a rich collage of who we are as a nation.
Beautiful storytelling and captivating photography converge to offer a uniquely human and accessible examination of the social issues that most challenge us today, such as racial equality, immigration reform, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, freedom of religion, and tolerance. Through the real-world stories of ordinary citizens who choose, in the midst of difficult circumstances, to pursue healing, reconciliation, and community building, we discover a glimmer of hope that something better is possible.
Portraits of Peace offers a promising road map to a peaceful future as a pluralistic society.
What our friends are saying about Portraits of Peace:
“During these fractured and unsettling times, John Noltner offers us a gift — a way to listen to others, to honor their humanity, and to stay at the table even when it is difficult. He brings us with him on his journey of discovery and change. I only wish I could give a copy of this book to every household in our country.”
– Martha McCoy, Executive Director, Everyday Democracy and President, The Paul J. Aicher Foundation
“Portraits of Peace vividly illustrates the power of personal story, unlocked by a courageous commitment to listen. Infused with timeless and urgent virtues such as curiosity, grace, forgiveness, and humility, the portraits both captivate and challenge us. Each chapter left me asking John Noltner’s favorite question, “tell me more.” The future of our families, communities, and country depends on pursuing the life-giving path of listening, which begins with inspiration. Portraits of Peace is a spark we need now more than ever.”
– Pearce Godwin, Founder of Listen First Project
“How can we bridge our deep divides and reclaim the power of “We the People”? Getting to know each other’s personal stories is one of the best ways forward, and this book gives us that chance. Here, a gifted photographer and essayist takes us on a human journey to meet people whose worlds we aren’t likely to know. In the process, he gives us a chance to correct the lenses thru which we look at others, and get back in touch with our shared humanity.”
– Parker J. Palmer, author of “Healing the Heart of Democracy”, “Let Your Life Speak”, and “On the Brink of Everything”
“We have a saying in our work: ‘Movements begin with the telling of untold stories’. Portraits of Peace does just that. John Noltner artfully weaves his own story and experiences with those of hundreds of people he has encountered, interviewed, and perhaps most importantly whose stories he has helped tell. These stories challenge us, expand us, surprise us, and push all of us to become more human. I encourage all who desire peace – in its many forms and definitions – to read this book and to begin telling stories themselves.”
– Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
Our two previous books are available on our Squareup Marketplace. Click on the cover images below to order.
A Peace of My Mind: American Stories has been awarded first place in the Beverly Hills Book Awards for Multicultural Non-Fiction and runner-up for Photography / Art for the New England Book Festival.
This inspiring collection is the result of photographer John Noltner’s 40,000 mile journey across our country, asking the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?” 58 people from diverse backgrounds share stories of hope, redemption, and forgiveness, paired with compelling color portraits in this 144-page, full color book with a foreword by Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum.
Designed to encourage thoughtful dialog, A Peace of My Mind: American Stories includes a series of simple discussion questions in the back for book clubs and small groups. Many of the questions included are the same ones used to conduct the interviews presented in the book. A map of the journey, an artist’s message and stunning scenic images from the American landscape complete this second book in the series.
“This work will tug at your heart and your sense of humanity. It’s difficult to digest this work and remain indifferent.” – Terri Lee Freeman, President, National Civil Rights Museum, from the book’s foreword
Our original book is in its third printing. In 2012 the book was awarded first place in the Midwest Book Awards, and a silver IPPY from the Independent Publishers Association.
The stories in this 120-page soft-cover book are paired with a beautifully reproduced, full-page black and white portrait. On the facing page, a brief biography and a 250-word passage from their interview reveals the thoughts and insights of each individual.
Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mohatma Gandhi and active in resisting South Africa’s Apartheid, wrote the foreword for the book. An artist statement by photographer, author, and project founder John Noltner is included as well.
Well-suited for book clubs and classrooms, A Peace of My Mind includes a series of simple discussion questions in the back of the book designed to foster dialogue among small groups. Many of the questions included are the same ones used to conduct the interviews presented in the book. A resource guide is also incorporated into the final pages of the book, giving readers access to many local and national organizations that work, in diverse ways, toward greater peace in the world.
“John Noltner takes us on a unique journey filled with revelations of courage and commitment, resilience and hope. It is a beautiful journey that speaks to our innermost being. It touches us in a way that allows us to see the world from a different perspective. Perhaps it will inspire us to become peacemakers.” —Ela Gandhi, from the book’s foreword