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The Strangeness of the Good

The Strangeness of the Good

By James Matthew Wilson

118 pp

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“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.”


President, Faith & Reason Institute

“James Matthew Wilson makes the everyday lyrically urgent and memorable. Few poets writing today do so with such unfailing elegance, close attention to the human world, and generosity of spirit.”


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 us be enchanted with the Divine life—in these times when the world needs us to be that hope in the world!”


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, James Matthew Wilson has wrought comfort and light out of darkness and managed to ‘build new worlds at the center of the old.’”


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.”


Pennsylvania Poet Laureate, 1993–2003

About the Author

JAMES MATTHEW WILSON is the author of nine previous books, including The Hanging God (Angelico, 2018) and Some Permanent Things (Wiseblood, 2018). Wilson serves as poetry editor of Modern Age magazine, the series editor of Colosseum Books, and the Director of the Colosseum Summer Institute. He is associate professor of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University, and Poet-in-Residence of the Benedict XVI Institute.

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