Christian Activities Publisher Kathryn Darden Finds Her 2005 Christmas Poem “Christmas in Iraq” Viral on the Web & Radio
Christian Activities Publisher Kathryn E. Darden was recently contacted by a woman who had just read Darden’s poem, “Christmas in Iraq.” The poem ran on ChristianActivities.com in December of 2005, and was republished during the holiday in 2007, but the woman stated the poem was featured in another publication she had received. Darden was unable to get the woman to send her the name of the publication, so she Googled the poem along with her own name and got quite a surprise!
“I discovered ‘Christmas in Iraq‘ was published many places. I knew it had run on several miscellaneous websites such as PeregrineConcepts.com in 2006, and on several military sites in 2006 and 2007 including GlobalSpecialOperations.com, Military MoneyMatters.com, Iraq.Pigstye.net, Hooah.com, and others I didn’t think to write down at the time.”
Darden had received requests from church bulletins and Christian newspapers to publish the poem and knew it had appeared other places, but she was still unprepared for how many websites were running the poem when she searched.
“I found it on almost 100 websites, discussion boards and blogs by searching for the poem without my name. People just saw it somewhere and copied and pasted it.” But the most exciting discovery was when Darden found her poem running on the Moody Network, read by Moody Radio’s Mike Gleichman.
“I discovered the link on Christmas Day of 2007, and there was my poem being read out loud by a professional radio personality!” Darden calls that moment a “wonderful Christmas present.”
The poem was also recorded professionally and used on Calvary 88-5 KLJC| Positive Christian Radio.
“Christmas in Iraq” also began showing up on numerous blogs in 2006 and even more in 2007, some with Darden’s by-line, some without.
The poem was written when ChristianActivities.com sponsored a soldier in Iraq during 2005. Darden mailed the poem in a care package to Sgt. Andrew Danison in Al Kasik, Iraq. Darden also had her cousin’s son-in-law Martin Schwerzler in mind, who was also serving in Iraq when she wrote the poem.
She published the poem on the ChristianActivities.com website, sent the link to a few family members and friends, and the poem was picked up from there.
Also during 2006 and 2007, Darden’s poetry was published by two Tolkien journals. In 2005, In Fellowship – the Journal of the Tolkien Gathering printed her poems “A Man Like You” and “A Pony, Name of Bill.” “A Man Like You” was published again the end of December of 2007 in Issue 1 of Silver Leaves, the journal of the White Tree Fund.
Darden has been writing poetry since she was 12 and has had poems appear in many publications, but she considers having “Christmas in Iraq” read by Moody Radio’s Mike Gleichman, as well as the inclusion of “A Man Like You” in Silver Leaves two of her highest honors to date.
Darden is also known for her compilation of Mayberry poetry for the book “The Mayberry Poem – A Tribute to Mayberry.”
Click here to read Christmas in Iraq – a Poem for Our Troops
Click here to read “A Man Like You”.