James Matthew Wilson

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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.

Recent Essays

Donald Hall and the Unsettling of American Letters

When Donald Hall passed away last week the obituary in his local New Hampshire newspaper made clear what an exceptional and instructive life he...

Joyless Moderns

The modern age, in almost every detail, began with the flat rejection of joy.  And the modern condition consists in alternately lamenting that there...

A Rebirth of Midwestern Regionalism

My review of an important new book by the midwestern historian, Jon K. Lauck, appears in the new issue of National Review.  I'll have more...

The Triumph of “Buchananism”

Although President-Elect Donald Trump may have been insincere, when he insisted that he was only the "messenger" and not the personal cause of his...

The United Kingdom Votes “Localism”

When Front Porch Republic came into the world seven years ago, it did so largely on the strength of an intuition.  Everyone was weary of "bigness."...

In the Pilsen Snow

My wife and I were married at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, on the near west side of South Bend, Indiana.  I’ve written about her...

An Age of Unmaking

Over the years, I have made the case, here and elsewhere, for the recovery of the traditional work of poetry.  The habits of mind...

New Author Site and Archive

Somewhere between three and seven readers of FPR will be pleased to hear that I have launched a new website that serves to archive...

The Mythology of an Anti-Christian Bigot

Though far, in its main argument, from the central concerns of the Porch, some readers may be interested in my account of mythos and...

The True Conservative

Writes Pat Buchanan of his work these last ten years: Our agenda in that decade was—stay out of wars that are not our business, economic...

The Trouble with Limits

Modern persons have a problem with limits, three in fact. They want every good thing to be unlimitedly available for their desires, and scarcity...

The Parish and the Papacy

This is the fourth of a five-part series of essays on "Localism and the Universal Church." You may find the previous installments here. As I...