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UST-Houston Hosts Distinguished Authors at SUMMER LITERARY SERIES on JULY 6 – 18, 2023

James Matthew Wilson Join us this July 6-18 for the Summer Literary Series at the University of St. Thomas-Houston. This annual celebration of the literary arts brings distinguished authors and scholars from around the world as they share the joy and beauty of the written word.  

The public is invited to join this multi-night event on campus or through live stream for a series of readings, lectures and performances that feature the best in contemporary literature and reflections on enduring classics. All events are free and open to the public. Cullen Auditorium is located at 4001 Mt. Vernon, Houston, 77006, on the University of St. Thomas Academic Mall. Parking available for $10 in the Moran Parking Garage on Graustark at West Alabama.

The Summer Literary Series complements the UST Summer Writers Institute and MFA Summer Residency, two ongoing features of the highly regarded Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program. This MFA in Creative Writing Program is the only one committed expressly to a renewal of the craft of literature within the cosmic scope, long memory and expansive vision of the Catholic literary and intellectual tradition.  The program was co-founded by James Matthew Wilson and Joshua Hren.

Event Schedule

July 6
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium
Live Stream: https://stthomedu.zoom.us/j/95858693492  
Webinar ID: 958 5869 3492

Katy CarlWelcome: James Matthew Wilson
Keynote Reading: Katy Carl reading from “As Earth without Water”

Wilson is the Cullen Foundation Chair in English Literature and the founding director of the MFA in Creative Writing at UST. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles and reviews on all manner of subjects secular and divine. Wilson is a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, and his work appears regularly in First Things, The Wall Street Journal, The Hudson Review, Modern Age and more. He has published 11 books. His most recent book of poems, “The Strangeness of the Good” (Angelico, 2020) received the Catholic Media Award in poetry.

Carl is the author of “As Earth Without Water,” a novel (Wiseblood, 2021) and “Fragile Objects” (Wiseblood, 2023, forthcoming). She is a senior affiliate fellow of the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society through the University of Pennsylvania and editor-in-chief of Dappled Things magazine in partnership with the Ars Vivendi Initiative of the Collegium Institute.

July 7
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium
Live Stream: https://stthom-edu.zoom.us/j/97274485617
Webinar ID: 972 7448 5617

Literary series-Catharine Savage 845x650 Keynote Reading:  Catharine Savage Brosman reading from her poetry

Brosman, known widely for her poetry, criticism, and essays, is professor emerita of French at Tulane University. She is the author of 14 poetry collections, of which the latest is “Arm in Arm” (2022). A new volume, “Aerosols,” will be out in fall 2023. Her collected short fiction, “An Aesthetic Education and Other Stories,” appeared in 2019 (enlarged edition, 2022).  Her fields of scholarly specialization are French literary history, criticism, American regional literary history, and biography. A native of Colorado and a current resident of Houston, she lived for nearly 40 years in New Orleans and now has a pied-à-terre there.

July 10
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium
Live Stream: https://stthom-edu.zoom.us/j/98520322453
Webinar ID: 985 2032 2453

Dana Goiia Welcome: James Matthew Wilson
Keynote Reading: Dana Gioia reading from “Meet Me at the Lighthouse

Gioia is a poet and critic. His six poetry collections include “Interrogations at Noon,” which won the 2001 American Book Award, and “99 Poems: New & Selected” (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize as the best book of the year. His most recent volume is “Meet Me at the Lighthouse” (2023). His five critical collections include “Can Poetry Matter?” (2002) and “Studying with Miss Bishop: Memoirs from a Young Writer’s Life” (2021). Gioia served as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009 and as California State Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2019. His other awards include the Laetare Medal, Presidential Civilian Medal, and the Aiken-Taylor Award in Modern Poetry. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California.

July 11
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium

Adam Kirsch Keynote Reading: Adam Kirsch reading from “The Discarded Life”

 Kirsch is a poet and critic whose books include “The Discarded Life: Poems” and “The Modern Element: Essays on Contemporary Poetry.” He is the poetry editor of The New Criterion and an editor at the Review section of the Wall Street Journal.

 July 12
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium
Matthew MattixKeynote Lecture: Micah Mattix on The Future of Literary Criticism

 Mattix is a professor of English at Regent University and the poetry editor at First Things. He is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Examiner and the author of “The Soul Is a Stranger in this World: Essays on Poets and Poetry.” 

July 13
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium

Sally Thomas Keynote Reading: Sally Thomas reading from “Works of Mercy”

Thomas is a poet and fiction writer, author of a poetry collection, “Motherland,” two poetry chapbooks, and a novel, “Works of Mercy.” With Micah Mattix she co-edited an anthology, “Christian Poetry in America Since 1940,” which received Christianity Today’s 2023 Book Award in Culture and the Arts. She has been the recipient of the J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction from Dappled Things magazine, two Editors’ Choice Awards in Fiction from Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith, and multiple Pushcart Prize nominations in poetry. Currently she serves as associate poetry editor for the New York Sun.

 July 14
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium

 Ryan WilsonKeynote Reading: Ryan Wilson reading fromThe Stranger World” and “Proteus Bound.”

Wilson is the author of “The Stranger World” (Measure, 2017), winner of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, of “How to Think Like a Poet” (Wiseblood, 2019), of “Proteus Bound: Selected Translations 2008-2020” (Franciscan, 2021), and of the forthcoming “In Ghostlight” (LSU, spring 2024). His work appears widely in periodicals such as Best American Poetry, 32 Poems, First Things, Five Points, The Hopkins Review, Image, The New Criterion, The Sewanee Review, and The Yale Review, as well as in several anthologies, including Christian Poetry in America Since 1940. Editor-in-Chief of Literary Matters (literarymatters.org), he teaches at The Catholic University of America. Paraclete Press will publish his anthology, “Contemporary Catholic Poetry,” co-edited with April Lindner, in fall 2024.

July 15
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium

Randy Boyagoda Keynote Reading: Randy Boyagoda reading from the novel Dante’s Indiana.

Boyagoda is professor of English at the University of Toronto, where he has held a series of senior administrative positions including, currently, Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life, and, previously, Principal of St. Michael’s College where he also held the Basilian Chair in Christianity, Arts and Letters.

Boyagoda is a novelist and literary critic. He is author of six books, including four novels, a biography of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus and, most recently Dante’s Indiana and Original Prin. He contributes essays, reviews and opinions to publications including the Atlantic, the New York Times, First Things, Commonweal, and The Financial Times (UK), regularly appears on CBC Radio, and hosts a literary podcast for the Toronto Public Library.

 July 18
7:15-8:45 p.m.
Cullen Auditorium

Haley StewartKeynote Lecture: Haley Stewart “Reading is a Door in the Wall: How Children’s Literature Helps Us Escape to a Truer World”

 Stewart is the editor of Word on Fire Spark, an imprint for young readers. She is the award-winning author of “The Grace of Enough,” “Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life,” and “The Sister Seraphina Mysteries” (a children's series about an order of mouse nuns who live underneath G.K. Chesterton's house and solve crimes). She has written for publications such as The University of Notre Dame's Church Life Journal, Public Discourse, Evangelization & Culture, and Plough. Stewart was a University Scholar at Baylor University where she received her BA. She is married to a distiller and they have four children and live in Florida.