The Violent and the Fallen Front CoverI 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 print run based on the success of the advance-sale period (running through September 22nd), and so I invite the interested reader to proceed with generous dispatch to the FLP online bookstore.  Books will ship November 22nd.

Advance Praise for The Violent and the Fallen

The Violent and the Fallen is a young man’s book—but one with a difference.  These are powerful poems by an author who has completely mastered the tradition. Wilson’s poems display a rare degree of skill and ambition, but he is never content with mere virtuosity, always reaching for spiritual and emotional intensity.—Dana Gioia

James Matthew Wilson’s poems are those of a searching, philosophical, and subtle mind treating themes of the inner and outer life of our contemporary world. Understanding our human nature as inevitably “violent and abyssal,” as St. Augustine wrote of infants at their mothers’ breasts, he affirms that we must negotiate successfully between “discipline and desire” to build a satisfactory life.—Helen Pinkerton Trimpi
By turns wry, tender, and deeply reverent, Wilson’s poems are engaged with the contemporary world. He addresses its serious existential aspects as well as ephemeral features, which he approaches with sympathetic understanding, even as he questions them. Whether rigorously traditional—blank verse, strictly rhymed couplets and quatrains, Shakespearean sonnets, a sestina—or slightly loosened, his lines suit his purpose of making verbal art depict the human condition.—Catharine Savage Brosman
From the Book Annoucement

In James Matthew Wilson’s second chapbook of poems, The Violent and the Fallen, we enter the lives of retail bankers, voluptuous lifeguards, alcoholic balloon vendors, and “wiry and cavern-chested” cruisers killing time in the vacancies of the Midwest.  We visit the dilapidated grandeur of post-industrial South Bend, those forgotten places “Far from the New Yorker,” along with the churches, bars, graveyards, vineyards, and encampments of a violent and fallen world.  Building on the narrative form of his earlier Four Verse Letters, Wilson’s book guides us through the violence of desire in search of those permanent things by means of which we may redeem and bring order to our lives.

One of the most wide-ranging and provocative cultural critics of his generation, and one of our most impassioned defenders of traditional verse forms, Wilson collects here twenty-one new poems at once severe and restrained, difficult and affecting.

The volume is now available for pre-order directly from Finishing Line Press (, and will be published in November of this year.  Because the total press run will be determined based on advance sales, we encourage you to place your order today.  Do so before September 27th to receive discounted shipping.

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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.