James Matthew Wilson is Cullen Foundation Chair of English Literature at the University of Saint Thomas, Houston, where he directs the MFA program in Creative Writing. He is the author of many essays on philosophical theology and literature, with a particular focus on the relation of artistic form and metaphysics, especially as manifested in poetry. His work seeks to furnish a holistic account of the influence of Classical, Scholastic, and neo-Scholastic thought on modern Irish, British, and American literature.
He has published widely on such figures as T.S. Eliot, Jacques Maritain, Yvor Winters, Denis Devlin, Anthony Hecht, Brian Coffey, and Helen Pinkerton. Several volumes on art, metaphysics, and literature are either in preparation or in press:
“Emptying the Tankard: Recovering the Soul in the Age of Self,” in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 23.4 (Fall 2020): 21-48.
“On Poetic Traditions: T.S. Eliot, Alasdair MacIntyre, and the Practice of Reason,” appears in Communio 44.4 (Winter 2017): 747-786.
“The Catholicity of Beauty,” appears in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 20.1 (Spring 2017): 60-83
“Elizabeth Bishop and the Poetry of Meditation,” appears in Religions 8.1 (2017): 1-19.
“The Formal and Moral Challenges of T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral,” appears in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 19.1 (Winter 2016): 167-203.
“From Plymouth Rock to Palo Alto: The New England Literary Tradition and Its American Critics,” appears in Christianity and Literature 64.1 (Winter 2015): 82-110.
“John Paul II’s Letter to Artists and the Force of Beauty” appears in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 18.1 (Winter 2015): 46-70.
“Ancient Beauty, Modern Verse: Romanticism and Classicism from Plato to T.S. Eliot and the New Formalism” appears in Renascence 67.1 (Winter 2015): 3-40.
“T.S. Eliot: Culture and Anarchy” appears in Explorations: The Twentieth-Century (The Levy Humanities Series) (forthcoming).
“From Being to Faith: The Poems of Helen Pinkerton” appears in Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 64.3 (Spring 2012): 251-274.
“The Rock against Shakespeare: Stoicism and Community in T.S. Eliot” appears in Religion and Literature 43.3 (Autumn 2011): 49-81.
“Retelling the Story of Reason” appears in Anamnesis: A Journal for the Study of Tradition, Place, and “Things Divine” 1.1: 5-40.
“Style and Substance: T.S. Eliot, Jacques Maritain, and Neo-Thomism” appears in Religion and Literature 42.3 (Autumn 2010): 49-81.
“Socrates in Hell: Hecht, Humanism, and the Holocaust” appears in Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 63.2 (Winter 2011): 147-68.
“‘I bought and praised but did not read Aquinas’: T.S. Eliot, Jacques Maritain, and the Ontology of the Sign” appears in Yeats/Eliot Review 27.1/2 (Spring-Summer 2010): 12-22.
“The Realism of Helen Pinkerton” appears in Christianity and Literature 58.1 (Fall 2009): 629-652.
“Poetic Jansenism: Religious and Political Representation in Denis Devlin’s Poetry” appears in Éire-Ireland 42:3&4 (Fall/Winter 2007): 35-59.
“Representing the Limits of Judgment: Yvor Winters, Emily Dickinson and Religious Experience” appears in Christianity and Literature 56.3 (Spring 2007): 397-422.
“Thomas MacGreevy Reads T.S. Eliot and Jack B Yeats: Making Modernism Catholic” appears in Yeats/Eliot Review 23.3/4 (Fall/Winter 2006): 14-26.
“Doctrinal Development and the Demons of History: The Historiography of John Henry Newman” appears in Religion and the Arts 10.4 (Winter 2006): 497-523.
“Louis MacNeice’s Struggle with Aristotelian Ethics” appears in New Hibernia Review 10.4 (Winter 2006): 53-70.
Catholic Modernism and the Irish “Avant-Garde”: Thomas MacGreevy, Brian Coffey, and Denis Devlin, a scholarly book (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, forthcoming).
Praying the Nicene Creed, a monograph (London, UK: Catholic Truth Society, 2022), pp. 79.
The Strangeness of the Good, a book of poems (Brooklyn, NY: Angelico Press, 2020), pp. 101.
The River of the Immaculate Conception, a chapbook of poems (Belmont, NC: Wiseblood Books, 2019), pp. 28.
The Hanging God (New York: Angelico Press, 2018), pp. 89.
The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the Western Tradition (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2017), pp. 376.
The Fortunes of Poetry in an Age of Unmaking, a monograph (Milwaukee: Wiseblood Books, 2015), pp. 289.
The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry, a monograph (Milwaukee: Wiseblood Books, 2014), pp. 33.
Some Permanent Things, a collection of poems (Milwaukee: Wiseblood Books, 2014. Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, Belmont, NC: Wiseblood Books, 2018), pp. 143.
The Violent and the Fallen, a chapbook of poems (Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2013), pp. 29.
Timothy Steele: A Critical Introduction, a monograph (West Chester, PA: Story Line Press, 2012), pp. 99.
Four Verse Letters, a chapbook of poems (Steubenville: Franciscan University at Steubenville Press, 2010), pp. 40.
Chapters in Books
Introduction to Poetry and Mysticism by Raïssa Maritain (Menomonee Falls, WI: Wiseblood Books, 2022), i-viii.
“Harlem Shadows and the Light of Faith: The Life and Poetic Achievement of Claude McKay,” in Claude McKay, Harlem Shadows (New York: Angelico Press, 2021), xi-xxxii.
“All that Is Clear and Orderly,” in 30 Poems to Memorize (Before It’s too Late), ed. David Kern (Concord, NC: CiRCE Books, 2020), 234-240.
“Afterward: Free America’s Catholic Politics,” in Land & Liberty: The Best of “Free America” which, Allan C. Carlson, ed. (Amenia, NY: Wethersfield Institute, Inc.), 317-333.
“Beauty and the West,” in Liberal Shock: The Conservative Comeback, William Dawes, ed. (Redland Bay, QLD: Connor Court Publishing, 2019): 233-254.
“Introduction” to World within the Word: Maritain and the Poet by Samuel Hazo (Steubenville: Franciscan University Press, 2018): 1-37.
“Art, Beauty, and Communal Life,” in Localism in the Mass Age: A Front Porch Republic Manifesto (Eds. Mark T. Mitchell and Jason Peters. Eugene, OR: Front Porch Republic Books, 2018): 151-160.
“Reading Confessionally,” in The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Religion (Ed. Susan Felch. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 35-50.
“An ‘Organ for a Frenchified Doctrine’: Jacques Maritain and The Criterion’s Neo-Thomism” in T.S. Eliot and Christian Tradition (Ed. Benjamin J. Lockerd. Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2014): 99-117.
“The Augustinian Imagination of Thomas MacGreevy,” in The Life and Work of Thomas MacGreevy: A Critical Reappraisal (Ed. Susan Schreibman. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013): 79-92.
“The Fugitive and the Exile: Theodor W. Adorno, John Crowe Ransom, and The Kenyon Review” in Rereading the New Criticism (Eds. Miranda B. Hickman and John D. McIntyre. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2012): 83-101.
“Brian Coffey, Jacques Maritain, and the Recovery of the ‘Thing’” appears in The Maritain Factor: Taking Religion into Interwar Modernism (Eds. Rajesh Heynickx and Jan De Maeyer. Leuven: Leuven University Press, Kadoc-Studies on Culture, Religion and Society, 2010): 138-151.
“Late Modernism and the Marketplace in Denis Devlin’s The Heavenly Foreigner” appears in Irish Modernism: Origins, Contexts, Publics (Eds. Edwina Keown and Carol Taaffe. London: Peter Lang, 2009): 159-175.
“Brian Coffey, Jacques Maritain and ‘Missouri Sequence’” appears in Other Edens: The Life and Work of Brian Coffey (Eds. Benjamin Keatinge and Aengus Woods. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2009), 121-138.