Devon, PA.  A few years ago, Jason Peters swore Learical revenges on me for reprinting a poem of mine on the debauchery of Michigan State students.  He could not understand how I could find subject for drollery in a student body that sets couches on fire in the streets and tips over police cars only on those occasions when the basketball team wins — or loses — or when Dean Wurmzer attempts to ban beer from tailgating on campus.  Possessed of a piercing satirical syringe, the good Dr. Peters has also barbed my Augustinian attitudes and the formalistic furnishings of my verse.  Despite his efforts, I have been thwarted in neither; to prove as much, I invite FPR readers to visit David Landrum’s on-line poetry journal, Lucid Rhythms, to view a pair of my poems that take for subject an unreformed Augustinian and a cooly disciplined metrician.  You can read both poems here.

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James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on subjects ranging from art, ethics, and politics, to meter and poetic form, from the importance of local culture to the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty. Wilson is also a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, and The American Conservative. He has published five books, including most recently, a collection of poems, Some Permanent Things and a monograph, The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (both Wiseblood Books, 2014). Raised in the Great Lakes State, baptised in the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas, seasoned by summers on Lake Wawasee (Indiana), and educated under the Golden Dome, Wilson is scion of a family of Hoosiers dating back to the early nineteenth century, and an offspring of Southside Chicago Poles whose tavern kept the city wet through the Depression (and prohibition) years.  He now lives under the same sentence of reluctant exile as many another native son of the Midwest, but has dug himself in for good on the margins of the Main Line in Pennsylvania with his beautiful wife, dangerous daughter, and saintly sons. For information on Wilson's scholarship and a selection of his published work, click here. See books written and recommended by James Matthew Wilson.