Contents 1. The Catholic Writer Today / 2. Sacred and Profane Love: John Donne 3. / God’s Grandeur: Gerard Manley Hopkins / 4. Two Poets Named Dunstan Thompson / 5. Brother Beat Meets Mr. Everson / 6. Clarify Me, Please, God of the Galaxies: Elizabeth Jennings / 7. If Any Fire Endures Beyond its Flame: A Conversation with Dana Gioia / 8. Image Interview with Dana Gioia/ 9. The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians / 10. To Witness Truth Uncompromised: Modern Martyrs / 11. This is What We suffer: A Note on the Paintings of George Tooker / 12. The Cosmopolitan and the Campesino: The Sacred Sculpture of Luis Tapia / 13. Singing Aquinas in L.A.
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Over the past decade Dana Gioia has emerged as a compelling advocate of Christianity’s continuing importance in contemporary culture. His incisive and arresting essays have examined the spiritual dimensions of art and the decisive role faith has played in the lives of artists.
This new volume collects Gioia’s essays on Christianity, literature, and the arts. His influential title essay ignited a national conversation about the role of Catholicism in American literature. Other pieces explore the often harrowing lives of Christian poets and painters as well as contemplate scripture and modern martyrdom.
"Dana Gioia’s The Catholic Writer Today sets a mighty finger on the scales of literature: on the one side what matters and lasts, and on the other what’s shallow and doesn’t. This electrifying essay is a guide for the perplexed; its arguments about Catholic literature could be applied to American writing in general. Without the complications of tradition and historythe history of meaning what’s left?"
- Cynthia Ozick
"The acclaimed poet Dana Gioia has established himself as a forceful, perceptive critic at the forefront of those examining the Catholic literary heritage. I learned from each of these brilliant, scintillating essays".
- Ron Hansen