Last night, at the West Chester University Poetry Conference, my second book, Timothy Steele: A Critical Introduction, was released.  As its title indicates, it is a monograph on the great contemporary poet and scholar, Timothy Steele, who first came to national attention as part of the New Formalist movement in the 1980s.

Since then, Steele and fellow poets, such as Dana Gioia, Rachel Hadas, R.S. Gwynn and David Mason, have sought to recover the traditional virtues of versecraft in contemporary poetry, and in the process have engaged in a powerful critical engagement with the legacy of artistic modernism more generally.  Their work has proven enduring enough to foster a second and third generation of poets who work in verse, as is in evidence at the annual West Chester Conference, where roughly three hundred writers and scholars meet every June.

It was a great honor to be asked to write this book, and there is a certain pleasure that any author would appreciate in having written the book this last winter and to see it published and available so soon thereafter.

Timothy Steele should be available soon from Story Line Press’s web site.  In the meantime, I am hoping to offer a few copies of the book along with my book of poems, Four Verse Letters, for a combined and discounted price.  Please write to for more information.

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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.