This is a season of waiting: waiting for the birth of Christ, waiting for a lousy year to drag its long green dragon's tail into the abyss of the past, and, finally, for the publication of my newest book, The Strangeness of the Good.
One of those waits, at least, is over. I am pleased to announce that Angelico Press has just released The Strangeness of the Good. The book is available for sale on amazon in both cloth and paperback editions (though, in the mystery of things, those remain separate listings for the moment, but should be converged by the end of the day. I invite you, and indeed ask you, to support this work, to repay the faith of the publisher, and to get a little something that you might enjoy, by picking up a copy of the volume. Just click the cover image to buy.
If you would like to learn more about the volume, I have good news for you. The Christian Humanist Podcast just released a longform interview with me yesterday, and I have recorded two of the poems from the volume. You can access all of these, for free, simply by clicking the appropriate images here. But, before you do, allow me to share some advance praise for the volume from some of the great voices of the contemporary Catholic and literary worlds, all of whom have something kind to say about the book.
There are poets who, alas, can only feel. And poets who, regrettably, can only think. James Matthew Wilson can do both. And in this substantial collection of sensuous and sonorous verse, Wilson gives evidence of being a major talent whose body of work grows steadily towards beauty and wisdom.
-Robert Royal, President, Faith & Reason Institute
James Matthew Wilson makes the everyday lyrically urgent and memorable. Few poets writing today write with such unfailing elegance, close attention to the human world, and generosity of spirit.
-Kevin Hart, Edwin B Kyle Professor of Christian Studies, The University of Virginia
The Strangeness of the Good is a beautiful act of faith . . . As we seek to see and reflect God’s beauty in the world, these poems will help you be enchanted with the Divine life – in these times when the world needs us to be that hope in the world!
Kathryn Jean Lopez, Senior Fellow, National Review Institute, editor-at-large, National Review
The Strangeness of the Good shows us yet again . . . what contemporary American poetry written in an American idiom with a fluency few can equal looks and sounds like. For years, I searched for a wisdom and humanity in father figures like Robert Lowell and John Berryman and found only in shards there what I have found (to my surprise and delight) in someone decades younger than myself. Especially in his Quarantine Notebook he has wrought comfort and light out of darkness and managed to “build new worlds at the center of the old.”
-Paul Mariani, author of Ordinary Time and Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life
“Quarantine Notebook,” composed of fifteen monologues written during the COVID lockdown . . . gives us a new and powerful Wilson . . . It's the brilliant genesis of a writer re-born.
-Samuel J. Hazo, Pennsylvania Poet Laureate, 1993-2003
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