James Matthew Wilson

Poems about God

November 1, 2013
I’m in the middle of writing a short essay on John Crowe Ransom’s first book, Poems about God (1919).  In his early poems even more obviously than in the later work that made him one of the most influential minor…
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The Joy of Being Edwin Arlington Robinson

Robinson October 24, 2013
Every semester, on the first day of the poetry courses I teach, I hold up Lilla Cabot Perry’s portrait of Edwin Arlington Robinson and tell the students an only slightly embellished anecdote. This first great American poet of the 20th…
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Craft First

The Violent and the Fallen Front Cover September 22, 2013
As part of my recent visit to Hillsdale College, where I read from my forthcoming book, The Violent and the Fallen, I gave a short interview to the campus paper, which has just been published.  At the end of the…
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Michiganders Take Note: A Reading at Hillsdale College

Washington Statue, Fall 2009 September 14, 2013
As The Hillsdale Collegian announces, I shall be giving a reading from my two chapbooks of poetry at Hillsdale College this coming week.  All persons of good will are welcome: The event begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17,…
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Rod Dreher Praises The Violent and the Fallen

The Violent and the Fallen Front Cover September 10, 2013
Last month, Rod Dreher discussed two of the poems from my forthcoming book, The Violent and the Fallen, on his blog at The American Conservative.  Dreher writes, when I read these poems, I kept thinking, “Yes, that’s how it is!” They…
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What You Need to Know About Yvor Winters

yvor-winters-grab1 August 15, 2013
This is the first entry in FPR’s One Thousand Words series. Over the next few months, perhaps longer, several dozen contributors will tell us what we need to know about a wide variety of figures—some obscure, some not—in one thousand
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The Violent and the Fallen

August 12, 2013
I am pleased to announce that The Violent and the Fallen, the second book of poems by James Matthew Wilson, is now available for advance sale.  You can order simply by clicking HERE.  Finishing Line Press, the publisher, will determine the…
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“Monogamish”: Marriage in the Age of Caucus Races

humpty-and-alice August 11, 2013
Berwyn, PA. While the American President is appearing on late-night television to tell the world — and the Russians — that a permissive attitude toward homosexual behavior is a matter of “basic morality,” the courageous Ryan T. Anderson takes a…
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What Would It Mean to Be a Catholic Writer?

July 18, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  Randy Boyagoda, my old neighbor from the Catholic ghetto that grew up around the Studebaker mansion in South Bend, writes about the dearth of Catholic writers and artists in our day, in the new First Things.  He begins, I’m…
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Reading the Constitution in the Light of Russell Kirk

July 1, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  Gerald Russello reflects on Russell Kirk’s theory of the unwritten Constitutionone in a new essay published on the Liberty Fund’s Liberty Forum.  His essay is part of a symposium that includes essays by Bradley Birzer, Gary Gregg,…
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On a Sculpture by Herbert Adams

Adams A Portrait of a Young Lady June 20, 2013
For Adams and his peers the trade of art must have itself seemed an imported thing: threatening, rarified, and set apart like thorned peaks of the Swiss Alps rupturing above the folded skin of clouds.
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At Bar Harbor Once, And Once . . .

water carriers June 11, 2013
We scrambled up the craterous outcrop that ruptured like an isle in the gray sands spread thin around Cille inne Bay.
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Gatsby for the Millennials

Gatsby May 23, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  I was a little surprised, not too long ago, to hear a student mention that The Great Gatsby was her favorite book.  “Because it is the only book you have read,” flashed through my mind, before I could…
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Telling the Truth about Immigration

images April 26, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  Nobody wants to.  Most politicians would rather appeal to platitudes about America as a “nation of immigrants” than confront their responsibility to attend to the common good of their own people.  And, depending on the poll you…
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The Pythagorean Temptation

2013-Candlemas-DT-Cover April 19, 2013
Berwyn, PA.  In his Degrees of Knowledge, Jacques Maritain argues that one central fault of the modern mind has been its propensity to think of mathematics rather than metaphysics as first philosophy.  If we take number for the foundation of…
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From the Trinity Capital

Trinity Capital April 12, 2013
Beyond the purple velvet drapes, the skeins of billowed gossamer, my hotel window looks down on the back gates of Trinity College. Up three floors and pierced by a late October sun, the room has been done up like a swinger’s pad, with leopard print and leather, with mirrors and conic shaded lights in orbit about the dark mass of the pillowed bed.
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