James Matthew Wilson writes in what one might call the high humanist Christian tradition. In literary terms, this is not the music of the humble shepherd’s pipe but the double keyboard pipe organ—resonant, complex, and contrapuntal.
—Dana Gioia, Forward to The Hanging God
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, on The Violent and the Fallen