The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry

May 11, 2022
Ruth Lake Country Club
6200 South Madison Street
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James Matthew WilsonUniversity of Saint Thomas, Houston


Part of our Western Suburban Catholic Culture Series. This event will be live streamed on Zoom.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the American Historian Henry Adams wrote admiringly of the Catholic mind as it found expression in the medieval world. It was beautiful, it was good, but, alas, could not be true. Within a generation, younger American writers were impelled by that same beauty but dared to ask whether they might be equally impelled by the Catholic vision of the world as true. Thus began a great literary adventure, as American poets entered into the Catholic tradition and sought to make poems that conveyed the depth and power of an encounter with the Catholic proclamations of faith as the truth of the world.


James Matthew Wilson is Professor of Humanities and the Founding Director of the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing , at the University of Saint Thomas, Houston. He holds a BA from the University of Michigan, an MA from the University of Massachusetts, and an MFA and PhD from the University of Notre Dame. Wilson is a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things,The Wall Street Journal‚Äč, The Hudson Review, Modern AgeThe New CriterionDappled ThingsMeasureThe Weekly StandardFront Porch RepublicThe Raintown ReviewNational Review, and The American Conservative. He has published ten books, including most recently, The Strangeness of the Good (Angelico, 2020) and the poetic sequence, The River of the Immaculate Conception (Wiseblood, 2019).