Christian Wiman interviewed on “Know Your Enemy” podcast

April 29, 2024

This conversation is a little different. We wanted to take a break from the election-year political jousting to talk to the poet Christian Wiman about Zero at the Bone: Fifty Entries Against Despair, one of the most singular books published in recent memory—part memoir, part commonplace book, part poetry collection. As with his previous My Bright Abyss, Wiman, more than any other contemporary Christian writer, manages to shake off our culture’s desiccated religious tropes to write and talk about matters of ultimate concern in ways that are bracing, even exhilarating. How does poetry tap into reality, or, even better, what does poetry reveal about it? How does he think about the relationship between “life and art”? Why does he resist “Saul on the Road to Damascus”-style accounts of religious conversion? Why did he almost not write about his cancer diagnosis in My Bright Abyss? Why might postmodernism be good for religion, actually? How does the love of another person connect to the love of God? And how does any of this matter for how we live? We take up these questions and more.

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