courses on subjects at the intersection of theology and literature in New
Haven, Connecticut, poet Christian Wiman is the featured speaker at HSU’s
Lawrence Clayton Poets & Writers Speaker Series, April 14, 2014.
is one of the most important American poets and poetry critics now active,”
said Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “He is
a writer of depth, ambition, and originality. There is no one in his generation
for whom I have a higher regard,” said Gioia.
senior lecturer in religion and literature at the Yale Institute of Sacred
Music, Wiman served as editor of Poetry
magazine for more than ten years.
was born in West Texas (1966), spending the first seventeen years of his life
in Snyder. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Washington and
Lee University, Lexington, Virginia; and has taught at Stanford University,
Stanford California; Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; Prague School
of Economics, Czech Republic; and Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia.
have no illusions about adding to sophisticated theological thinking,” said
Wiman as he explained what he hopes readers might take from his work. “There
are a ton of people out there who are what you might call unbelieving
believers, people whose consciousness is completely modern and yet who have
this strong spiritual hunger in them. I would like to say something helpful to
those people,” he said.
has strong family ties to Hardin-Simmons and Abilene. His mother and his father
graduated from HSU, and his great aunt Ruth Wiman has an HSU School of
Education endowed scholarship in her name. His mother, Frances Wiman, and brother,
David, still live in Abilene.
number of people around West Texas know Chris and his family, both from
personal knowledge and from reading Chris’s books, poems, and essays,” said Dr.
Robert Fink, W. D. and Hollis R. Bond Professor of English, and director of the
annual speaker series.
“His spiritual memoir, My Bright Abyss: Meditations of a Modern Believer, seems
to have an especially strong following in the Big Country,” said Fink.
Lawrence Clayton Poets and Writers Speaker Series, presented by The
McIntyre-West Endowment of the HSU Academic Foundation, was started 37
years ago by Dr. Lawrence Clayton, chair of the English department. Clayton played
an instrumental role in securing funding to bring nationally-recognized poets
and fiction writers to HSU, providing creative writing students access to
publishing poets and fiction writers. Clayton’s name was added to the series
after his death.
The event is free and open to the public.
Logsdon Chapel, Cedar Street, Hardin-Simmons University
Informal Question & Answer Session
Reception and Book Signing
More on Christian Wiman:
He is the author of three collections of poetry: Every
Riven Thing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), Hard Night (Copper
Canyon, 2005), and The Long Home (Copper Canyon, 2007).
Once in the West, his new book of poetry, to be released in September, 2014, from
Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
He has also translated the poems of Osip Mendelstam (Stolen
Air, Ecco, 2012). He has two books of essays: My Bright Abyss:
Meditations of a Modern Believer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), in its
eighth printing and now available in paperback, and Ambition and Survival:
Becoming a Poet (Copper Canyon, 2005).
His poems and personal essays appear widely in such
magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The New York
Times Book Review and The New Yorker.
For more information about the Lawrence Clayton Poets &
Writers Speaker Series:
Robert A. Fink
W. D. and Hollis R. Bond Professor of English
Director of Creative Writing