Poetry Roundup, including a review of The Strangeness of the Good
I won't bury the lede. This update speaks of past, present, and future, but it's the future with which it is chiefly concerned--including mine.
I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed founding director of the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Saint Thomas, in Houston. This is the honor and opportunity of a lifetime to continue my own work in poetry and to support, cultivate, and promote the work of others, as we try to bring about, with humble heads directed firmly toward making good work, a Catholic literary renaissance.
The program has a unique focus and curriculum. I invite you to click on the program description (UST) and an interview conducted by Carl Olson with Joshua Hren, my new colleague, and me about our ambitions . At left, you will also find a link to the Catholic News Service's article on the program (this is the syndicated version found in Catholic Philly).
My latest essays, and those you can look forward to seeing in the next couple months, continue my long project of recovering the best Catholic poets and writers of the past and looking for those of the present. I aim to help readers to savor the good things that have been done. I aim to help writers gain a little readers' attention as they try to do good work.
And so, this latest update features the second of my two essays on Harlem Renaissance poet and Catholic convert, Claude McKay. I will be contributing an extended critical introduction to a new edition of McKay's Harlem Shadows, and that stimulated the essay here (Click on CWR to read it).
In Notre Dame Church Life Journal, I reflect on an important new book on Catholic novelists, on the Catholic classic novel, Mr. Blue, and, for good measure, the films of Frank Capra, all in the effort to think through what kind of contemporary Catholic literature we might hope for, and what kind we might not (Click CLJ to read). Both these essays are both backward, present, and future facing, as they consider what a modern Catholic literature could or should look like.
I also sat down for my seventh interview with Thomas Mirus, this one a discussion of and reading from my new book, The Strangeness of the Good. Just click below to watch the interview. Click on the America icon to read a new review of that book.
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