James Matthew Wilson

The Trouble With Goodness

December 3, 2014
This last September, the Future Symphony Institute invited me to address its first annual conference on some of the philosophical problems in our age that make it difficult for the general public to recognize the intrinsic value of orchestras and…
Read the full article →

Some Permanent Things In Print

SPTFrCvRd42color6-01 November 14, 2014
In an endnote to The Idea of a Christian Society, T.S. Eliot makes this categorical claim: Conservatism is too often conservation of the wrong things: liberalism a relaxation of discipline; revolution a denial of the permanent things. Ours is an…
Read the full article →

The Good Man Must Himself Be a True Poem

The Violent and the Fallen Front Cover July 25, 2014
The M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame has just published an interview with me as part of its alumni series.  There, I get to reflect on my years of shooting pool and trying to hold…
Read the full article →

The Violent and the Fallen On the Airwaves

May 30, 2014
Holy Family Radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently aired John Pinheiro’s interview with me on his weekly program, Faith and Reason.  Pinheiro asked me to discuss my new book, The Violent and the Fallen, in the context of Catholic tradition…
Read the full article →

“Standard Oil” Catholicism

April 25, 2014
Berwyn, PA.  The American Conservative has just published the online version of my review of Suitable Accommodations, a selected letters of the Catholic fiction writer, J.F. Powers.  Powers’ stories still live and astonish, and speak for themselves.  My review…
Read the full article →

Despair, Delight, and the Decentered Self

The Violent and the Fallen Front Cover April 8, 2014
Berwyn, PA.  The Fine Delight Interview Series with Catholic authors, conducted by the author of the book of the same name, Nick Ripatrazone, has just posted its latest interview — with me, your humble author.  In it, I discuss…
Read the full article →

Come and Hear, or Read, “The Violent and the Fallen”

February 7, 2014
My second collection of poems, The Violent and the Fallen, is now available on amazon.com, and directly from the publisher. Those interested may also write directly to [email protected] to order one of only seven signed sets of my first three books, Four Verse Letters (2010), Timothy Steele:…
Read the full article →

In Praise of Mediocrity

200px-Viktor_Hartman January 20, 2014
Berwyn, PA. Everyone knows G.K. Chesterton’s aphorism that, if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.  Dappled Things writer Karen Ullo has deepened our understanding of that truth in a new personal essay, where she reflects on the inevitably…
Read the full article →

What You Need to Know about Dana Gioia

dana1 December 17, 2013
Dana Gioia has spent his career making metaphors: drawing disparate things together to reveal the breadth and depth of aesthetic experience, but doing so in a way that has frequently provoked avant-garde artists and their academic minions even as it…
Read the full article →

Of Vision and Discipline

December 10, 2013
After six years absence, I have just published a review essay in the great Contemporary Poetry Review, one of the first important internet critical journals.  The review is of two new books by the western poet (and skier) David J. Rothman. …
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

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,…
Read the full article →

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…
Read the full article →

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
Read the full article →