About James Matthew Wilson

James Matthew Wilson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. His poems, essays, and reviews appear regularly in a wide range of books and journals, including, most recently, The Dark Horse, Pleiades, and Modern Age.


James Matthew Wilson Has written the following articles:


The Ecstatic Discipline of David J. Rothman

James Matthew Wilson reviews two books by David J. Rothman, The Book of Catapults (White Violet Press, 2013) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis Press, 2013) In the last several years, David Rothman has established a reputation as the great enthusiast of poetic form. In his prose and public appearances, he argues with passion for the virtues […]

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Our Steps amid a Ruined Colonnade III: James Matthew Wilson on Grammar and Expression

III   O early ripe! To thy abundant store What could advancing age have added more? It might (what nature never gives the young) Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue.                                         —John Dryden  We stood in a living room furnished with antiques and, on small tables winging the brocaded sofa, delicately fanned displays […]

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Our Steps amid a Ruined Colonnade II: James Matthew Wilson on Expansive Poetry and its Discontents

II          Marble staircases climb the hills where derelict estates               glimmer in the river-brightened dusk . . .               And some are merely left to rot where now               broken stone lions guard a roofless colonnade . . .                                                 —Dana Gioia   Though long anticipated, the recent demise of the respectable Edge City Review […]

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Our Steps amid a Ruined Colonnade: James Matthew Wilson on Contemporary Poetry and the Academy

While arguing amid the colonnades, Tired in the noon-day by the badly taught, Or resting, dubious, in the laurel shades   I have impinged upon a firmer thought.    – Yvor Winters Poet-critics from David Lehman to William Logan have aired their complaints about the dangers literature faces in the contemporary English Department, and they have done […]

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Explaining the Modernist Joke: W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice and Letters from Iceland

Travel Writing and the Canon Like many odd literary creatures from the British 1930’s, W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice’s Letters from Iceland (1936) is referred to more frequently as a representative period piece than as an achieved work of art. As Tim Youngs notes, in his essay on Auden’s travel writing in the recent Cambridge […]

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A Sentimental Education: Modern Poetry and the Anthology

Reviewed: 100 Essential Modern Poems. Joseph Parisi, Ed. Ivan R. Dee, 2006. We have been in the age of the anthology for more than a century now, and nothing suggests we are about to leave it. Our lives and civilization have been built upon miscellanies and compilations: inspired ones, like the Bible, and more modest […]

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CPR Classic Readings: James Matthew Wilson on Yvor Winters’ “The Slow Pacific Swell”

Note: “The Slow Pacific Swell” may be found in many volumes of Winters’s work, including Collected Poems (1960); The Poetry of Yvor Winters (1978); and The Selected Poems of Yvor Winters (1999).   In her introduction to one of two recent editions of Yvor Winters’ selected poems, Helen Pinkerton Trimpi offers “To the Holy Spirit” […]

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To Cloak the Emptiness of One’s Yearnings: George Santayana Reconsidered

I  Early in 1941, as British forces were pushing Italian tanks back into Libya and spoiling Mussolini’s dreams of becoming a full member to the Axis powers, Ezra Pound was hard at work in Rapallo, pushing dreams of his own. In a letter from January 2nd of that year, Pound wrote to the retired Spanish […]

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